NEWPORT, Pa. (WHTM) — While school may be done for the summer, students in Perry County are still earning high marks.
The Perry County Council of the Arts is holding its annual Youth Art exhibition every Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. until July 17. The exhibit showcases music, literature, and art in many different forms from students all across the county. “This gives young artists the opportunity to participate in a professional art exhibition at an established gallery, building confidence in their skills and excitement for art,” PCCA Communications Director Missy Smith said.
The art features work from students in grades K-12 with several pieces that are available to purchase. There’s also another added benefit to hosting student art every year. “When we host exhibitions that feature students, they also bring their families with them who may not otherwise visit our gallery or be familiar with local arts programming,” Smith said. “This engagement builds more comfortability with various art forms and an appreciation for creative outlets, in general. Increased exposure and participation ensures that PCCA will be building community through the arts for many generations to come.”
One of those artists is Maddy Smiley who is heading into the fifth grade. Smiley managed to capture a crystal-clear picture of a hummingbird, a feat that even the best of photographers have trouble achieving. “I sat on the patio swing near my bird feeders. There was a tree right next to it and the hummingbirds loved that tree. They came down and drank the nectar and landed in the tree. I took a lot of pictures because I love hummingbirds,” Smiley said. “When I looked back and saw the pictures I was like ‘oh my gosh!’ It was special because there was a natural black background and in my opinion that was the best picture I have ever taken.”
Smiley says it took some patience, but the snapshot was nearly perfect. “It was very hard. I sat outside for hours and hummingbirds are very fast and small,” Smiley said. “I just sat on the swing by myself. My dad helped me touch up the picture by brightening it.”
Smiley’s parents are grateful to see their daughter’s passion get recognized. “She has loved birds seemingly from the time she was born. By the age of four, she completely memorized a Pennsylvania Bird Guide and was able to identify the birds at our feeders. Watching her grow in her knowledge and be able to represent the beauty of nature is awesome! We are proud of her to be able to share something she works so hard to accomplish,” Maddy’s mom Lisa Smiley said. And how does Maddy feel about the feature? “it feels amazing to have some of my work in an exhibit so everyone can enjoy it,” Maddy said.
To learn more about the youth art exhibit you can visit the link here.