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September 1, 2014, 7:40 am

Art exhibit premiers students’ talents

Pencil sketches of Tupac Shakur, Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali, watercolor portraits of landscapes, and images of abstract design debuted on May 17 at the Education Center Atrium. The School District of Philadelphia Office of Academic Enrichment and Support held a reception for the 2012 Annual Young Artists Exhibition.

More than 1,500 pieces of work from 150 schools representing kindergarten through 12th grades are included in the exhibit.

Penny Nixon, chief academic officer for the District gave remarks, and the Lindback Foundation was recognized for its contribution of $50,000 for the purchase of art supplies for the public schools.

Sixth-grader Atiyyah Abdul-Hakim and her mother Tyreina Cardwell gazed at three quilts suspended off a wall. Each quilt displayed a child playing. With the help of her classmates in room 102 at Lingelbach School, Abdul-Hakim described the three-week process it took to stitch the quilts.

“It was so much fun. It took a whole lot of work though,” Abdul-Hakim said.

This young artist is also an active poet.

“I like both [quilting and poetry], but my favorite is creating the quilts because it’s fun, we can do it together in my class and have fun with each other,” Abdul-Hakim said.

As Cardwell snapped a few pictures of the quilts, she explained her sentiments of seeing her daughter’s creativity through art.

“This is amazing. I’m glad she got the opportunity to be able to do something like this. It’s beautiful,” Cardwell said.

Also giving remarks at the reception was Emilee J. Taylor, teacher support specialist in art education. As an art teacher, Taylor served in the District for 32 years.

“This has always been one of the highlights of our program for art education in the school district because it showcases all the efforts of art work that our schools can create,” Taylor said.

Taylor’s mother is an artist. Growing up, she and her sister learned several techniques from their mother such as printmaking. Taylor said parents should continue to encourage their children to continue their involvement in art.

“Many of the parents have no idea just how much work our children create,” she said. “I think just this experience is very encouraging and exciting for the kids and its always great to see how their eyes get big and bright when they see special works they created themselves.”        

The Young Artists citywide art exhibition will be open to the public free of charge from May 17 to August 31. Exhibit hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays. The exhibit is closed on Sundays.