On display at the County-City Library during the month of March is the work of young talented artists within the Sweetwater school system. March is Youth Art Month.
Sweetwater High School art instructor, Scharles Kelley, mounted paintings and pictures on the library wall. Kelley has been an art instructor for over 14 years in Sweetwater. She enjoys teaching not just the basics of art and what mediums to use to students — she likes to dig deeper and teach them the different time periods of art and how those time periods brought out certain styles and uniqueness to certain pieces of art during a particular era.
Kelley stated that many of Sweetwater's young artists are not just in high school, but also in middle school as well, and are intrigued with the arts and the history behind it. Kelley teaches different time periods to the students in relation to the art at that time such as Prehistoric, Egyptian and Greek works. She focuses on different artists and their medium, for example Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet and many more. These teachings can be seen in many of the pieces displayed at the library. Some art pieces are made with oil and pastels with warming colors. Some are made with a mosaic style, created by using an overhead grid to enlarge the pieces and others with portrait and pencil. There are even a couple with a raised clay surface with painting done on them to give them that three dimensional feeling.
Many students each year are able to enter into the YAME (Youth Art Month Exhibit) which takes place in downtown Abilene at The Grace Museum. Each year there are approximately 16 schools and surrounding schools that participate in this event. In order to get into this event, Kelley has to go through many different mediums turned in by students. Regretfully she can't submit them all. Once selected, they are submitted to the YAME for approval. Once approved they remain on display throughout the month.
Kelley has used many artistic fundamentals, as well as her education to keep students involved and interested in the arts in every aspect that she can.
The artwork will be on display at the County-City Library throughout the month of March. The hours for the library are Monday from 1-6 p.m., Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.