The art of students from A Place to Grow has filled the galleries at Lincoln Cultural Center.
â€œI just think itâ€™s exciting to see all the work theyâ€™ve done,â€ said Ellen Wilson, mother of 3-year-old Rilee.
Decorating the walls are handprints and stamps, colored pumpkins and collages.
The exhibit is the culmination of a year of art projects done by the schoolâ€™s preschool and special needs students.
Creating art helps students with speech and motor skills. Itâ€™s also a way for them to communicate, something thatâ€™s not always easy.
â€œThis is one of the few ways they can express themselves,â€ said Anita Laney, a teacherâ€™s aid at the school.
For the art opening, the students went to the Cultural Center on a field trip to admire their own and classmateâ€™s work.
â€œItâ€™s just like Christmas to them,â€ said Sherry Reinhardt, assistant director.
This is the seventh year the schoolâ€™s studentsâ€™ art has been on exhibit. It is sponsored by the Arts Council of Lincoln County.
â€œItâ€™s always wonderful,â€ said Gary Lee, president of the Arts Council. â€œItâ€™s a great way to showcase their work, show the community what theyâ€™re doing.â€
Parents and grandparents also attended the opening, making it a family event.
â€œIt shows support. They feel love,â€ said Pat Richardson, grandmother to 2-year-old Isaiah. â€œWeâ€™re behind them, and weâ€™re proud of them.â€
For outsiders viewing the studentâ€™s work, the exhibit shows what they can do. It also shows that A Place to Grow is alive and well.
â€œEveryoneâ€™s just stepped in and helped us,â€ said Denise Zock, director.
During last yearâ€™s art show, school leaders were dealing with state funding cuts. There was even talk of the school shutting down.
â€œThe community literally kept us going,â€ Reinhardt said.
Community support is still going strong for the school. A silent auction is currently being held as part of the art exhibit. Two quilts are up for grabs, both designed by the schoolâ€™s students.
â€œThereâ€™s a lot of time and love that go into their choices,â€ Reinhardt said of the work.
Want to go?
A Place to Growâ€™s Annual Art Show runs through March 23 at the Lincoln Cultural Center in downtown Lincolnton. It can be viewed weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
by Sarah Grano