An annual art exhibition featuring the work of students in the YouthQuest afterschool program is back for its sixth year
and – with more than 2,000 pieces of mixed-media artwork – it’s bigger than ever. “ArtQuest: Your Story” will be on display from 3-7 p.m. April 12-14 in the Diplomat atrium, at 4110 S. Saginaw St., Flint.
The exhibition brings together more than six months of art education and enrichment activities – a key element of YouthQuest’s programming, which also includes academic support, physical fitness, nutrition education, youth development and leadership, and family and community engagement.
“The arts play an important role in fostering creativity, critical thinking and innovation – all skills that are valued in school, the workplace and beyond,” said Rhetta Hunyady, Vice President of Education & Training at the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, which administers YouthQuest. “Considering the positive impact art has on a child’s development, we make a point to provide YouthQuest students with hands-on projects, music lessons and more, throughout the year.”
In preparation for the public showing, which has a literacy theme this year, YouthQuest students have participated in a number of themed art projects and lessons over the past six months. Many of the projects related to different stories and books, including “Beautiful Oops!” by Barney Saltzberg, which teaches that it’s okay to make mistakes, and “The Dot” by Peter H. Reynolds, which encourages readers to make their own mark in the world.
“Teaching art and literacy in tandem allows our students to develop a better understanding of both subjects,” said Sharri Newman, Program Director for YouthQuest. “They become more engaged in the material and are more likely to draw important connections between the two.”
In addition to putting the artwork on display, YouthQuest students will also lead several spoken-word and musical performances throughout the event. Visitors can also stop by the reading room to check out books written and illustrated by each of the 14 YouthQuest sites, as well as view installations created by local artists Ryan Gregory and Todd Nickola.
Admission is free, although guests are encouraged to RSVP by calling (810) 600-1422.