PORTLAND, Maine — To celebrate Youth Art Month, the Portland Museum of Art has a monthlong youth exhibit on the lower ground floor of the museum.
The student exhibit features artwork from Pre-K through 12th graders. Arts teachers who are part of the Maine Art Education Association (MAEA) are allowed to submit just one piece of art per school. This year, the museum has more than 70 pieces. All of the works can be seen online too through the museum's website.
NEWS CENTER Maine met with some of the students who were featured.
"I decided to do a plexiglass and lay fabric on top of the portrait of myself that I created, and quite honestly I just didn't want to paint the second eye. That's too much work. Let me add more meaning by adding a puzzle piece. So that's where the idea came from, because I feel like without the puzzle pieces, it would just be a regular portrait, and that wasn't really what I was going for. And the missing piece is actually my grandparents swing," Portland High School student Noor Abduljabar said.
"I'm a very anxious person, so it's always been a way for me to kind of like remove myself from a situation and then go put that energy into something else," Grace Anderson, a student at Portland High School, said. "I will use it to portray certain feelings and certain points that I am trying to get across, so for this project I used a lot with different colors, and colors are very important to me, and they show what I am trying to capture."
"I started it in the corner of my math notebook, and kind of jot the whole design out, and then I decided that I wanted to bring it to life, tackling this broader kind of emotional struggle that we all face," Hannah Smart, a student from Portland High School, said. "I chose a dove because doves are symbols of love and of peace and intimacy, and by cutting its head off, it's pretty self-explanatory there, but I really wanted to draw attention to the shape of bodies. That's also what's being kind of dragged out in my other pieces right now."
The exhibit is an opportunity to highlight the art programs in schools and the importance that art plays in the lives of many students.
Click here for more details on PMA's Youth Art Month exhibit.