No ACYC art show for Yates County students

Staff reports
The Chronicle-Express
Sadly, the 2021 Yates County Student show at the Arts Center has been cancelled due to the Covid pandemic. It is hoped the exhibit will return in 2022.

PENN YAN – The 2021 Yates County Student show at the Arts Center is another victim of COVID-19.  The annual spring exhibit, which highlights work done by art students at Penn Yan Middle School, Penn Yan Academy, Dundee Middle and High School, Gorham Middle School, and Marcus Whitman High School – scheduled to run from May 8 to May 21 – will not be held this year. 

“We’ve been in contact with art teachers from all three districts for several months,” said Arts Center Executive Director Kris Pearson, “and while they have adopted some pretty creative strategies to engage their students in a wide range of artistic mediums, the combination of sometimes intermittent hands-on teaching opportunities and the fact that many of the assignments are done by students at home have left teachers with little work on hand to prepare for a formal exhibit.” 

Although art often appears to be a solitary endeavor, group learning is actually an important element of artistic education, providing as it does direction, inspiration, energy and essential feedback. As with other disciplines, “normal” teaching in the time of Covid has proven to be a challenge. Many artistic disciplines have been pushed aside as lack of access to specialized supplies, equipment and computer programs (like clay, pottery wheels, printing presses, photo editing software etc) limit what can be accomplished. 

While disappointed that the Arts Center will be unable to hold the Student Show this year, the board, staff and professional artists affiliated with the Arts Center appreciate the work local arts teachers are doing to encourage their students to channel their Covid experiences into creative channels.