A visitor to the gallery at the Lincoln Cultural Center can be transported to the “Land of Nursery Rhymes” through the annual A Place to Grow Art Show. The children who attend A Place to Grow in Lincolnton and their teachers have transformed the gallery with their artwork depicting scenes from popular fairytales and nursery rhymes. Since they went back to school in August, the children and their teachers have been working on the art which is on display.

“Our one, two, three, four and five-year old children participated,” A Room to Grow program director Denise Machuga said. “We have one person who’s in charge of the art show each year and they come up with a theme and the children and teachers take it from there. The returning students really look forward to it every year.”

The installations include themes from “Humpty Dumpty,” “Hey Diddle Diddle, the Cat and the Fiddle,” “The Three Little Piggies,” “Little Bo Peep,” “Hickory, Dickory, Dock,” “Rain, Rain go Away,” “Oh Where, oh Where Has my Little Dog Gone,” “The Old Lady in the Shoe” and “Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater.” Most of the installations include personalization from each student such as handprints, fingerprints or pictures of the students.

“We had a lot of parents come to see it during the reception,” she said. “The parents sometimes don’t get a chance to see what their kids do on a daily basis so to be able to come and see it all put together is significant. Imagination and creativity for a child, even one as young as a year old, is so important. They get to sit down and express themselves through art.”

Some of the children who attend A Place to Grow have difficulties communicating in the conventional way, according to Machuga and they use art as a means to express themselves. A Place to Grow is a developmental day center and serves students with and without special needs, integrating them together in classrooms. They also provide early intervention, typical daycare, special education, developmental day services. The children are from ages one to five.

“We’re happy to continue our partnership with A Place to Grow,” Lincoln County Arts Council executive director Deanna Williams-McGinnis said. “The community looks forward to this exhibit also each year. Arts in education is a must and we are honored to get to showcase this event.”

There will also be a silent auction for artwork done by the children with proceeds to benefit A Place to Grow. The exhibit which will be on display from Feb. 13 – March 3 at the Lincoln Cultural Center at 403 East Main Street in Lincolnton. For more information, please contact the Arts Council of Lincoln County at (704) 732-9044. 

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