Youth in Art

Who hasn’t been to an art gallery or museum during their lives whether it is to admire “The Masters” or support an array of local artists? The exhibit on display in March at the Rehoboth Art League is a bit unique because it features art by children. March is Youth in Art Month.  

The Art and Creative Materials Institute (ACMI) organized “Children’s Art Month” in 1961 as an event that celebrates and promotes the arts and art education across the country. In 1984, ACMI created the non-profit organization The Council for Art Education (CFAE) to advocate for visual art education.  CFAE coordinates the Youth Art Month program at the national level. The Delaware Art Education Association (DAEA) is heavily involved with the promotion of Youth Art Month in the state. It is posting a virtual exhibit of children’s art on the DAEA web site and participate in a national flag program.  

Aleksander Louvis

The RAL “Young at Art” exhibit  features work of youths in schools primarily throughout Sussex County. About 30 schools are participating this year. One is Beacon Middle School in Lewes where Alexander Louvis has been the art teacher for 17 years. His big challenge is to select ten art entries from a pool of about 700 students. Louvis says he determines entries discreetly, so as not to disappoint those who do not make the cut.  

“Everyone is a winner in the Young at Art Exhibit,” says Paula Holloway, Education Programs Director for RAL. “It is an honor to be one of only ten students to be chosen to exhibit from each school.  Every child receives a ribbon.” According to Holloway over 300 students from the Elementary, Middle and High School levels participate and some of the high school students go onto attend art school.   

Holloway sends out a blanket invitation, and it is up to school art teachers to decide if they will include their students in the program.  

“Children have always played a prominent role at RAL”, says Executive Director Sara Ganter. “From when Mrs. Corkran hosted children’s parties that were a central part of artistic discourse and learning here.”  Louise and Wilber Corkran donated their property to provide a haven for the arts and the Rehoboth Art League was formed in 1938. It is Sussex County’s first organized cultural arts center.  

Ganter says that many people who visit RAL mention that, when they were young, they got into the “Young at Art” show. They remember fond memories coming into the gallery with their parents to see their art on the wall.  

This year, the exhibit runs from March 16 to March 30 in the Corkran and Tubbs Galleries at 12 Dobbs Lane in Henlopen Acres. Gallery hours are 10 am – 4 pm Monday through Saturday and 12 noon – 4 pm on Sunday.  

RAL also organizes a Summer Camp art program that is wildly popular with several class offerings already filled. The program lineup includes pottery, weaving, drawing, screen painting and art history.  

RAL is not the only local game in town for youth art programs. The Lewes Library has an on-going program that takes place on the third Wednesday of each month from September through May. Classes for kids K-2nd grade are 5:00-5:45 pm and for “tweens” – 3rd through the 5th grade from 6;00 pm – 6:45 pm. Ace Hardware sponsors it. The library is located at 111 Adams Avenue. 

Mary Jo Tarallo spent much of her career in public relations with various non-profits and spent 40 years involved with the ski industry s a journalist, public relations director for a national trade association and as executive director of the Learn to Ski and Snowboard initiative. Prior to her ski industry involvement she worked for the Maryland International Center in Baltimore and United Way of Central Maryland. She won a Gold Award for TV programming for a United Way simulcast that starred Oprah Winfrey. She has been cited for her work by numerous organizations. Mary Jo grew up in Baltimore, attended the University of Maryland and Towson University, lived in Washington, DC for 21 years and has been a full time resident of Rehoboth Beach and Milton since May 2019.  

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