The Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge will host the opening of the exhibit “Why Art?” from 6-7 p.m. Friday, May 9, showcasing children’s art and highlighting the benefits of art education in a child’s academic life.
Children who are students of private art teacher Anjela McEahern will exhibit drawings and paintings in various media, including graphite pencil, colored pencil, pastel, watercolor and acrylic paint. Her 23 students, who attend preschool through eighth grade, will each have a work of art in the exhibit in Imagination Gallery at the museum at 461 W. Outer Drive.
The exhibit will also include a mural created by Phil Yeh, an artist representing Cartoonists Across America and the World, during the 2010 Street Painting Festival sponsored by the local Oak Ridge Rotary Clubs. Yeh and Leona Kitchings, who contributed to the mural, sketched Oak Ridge landmarks, and many local artists painted the landmarks.
Entertaining with a violin performance will be Michael Lin, a Farragut Middle School student and first violin in the Youth Chamber Orchestra in the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra Association.
McEahern, who has exhibited and won awards in the annual Juried Open Show at the Oak Ridge Art Center, said she hoped as a private art teacher to have a venue for exhibiting their work and for educating their families and the public about the value of art education.
“’Why Art?’ seeks to not only showcase some wonderful children’s artwork, but also to inspire careful thought into what art education involves and why it can be a beneficial use of time in a child’s academic life,” McEahern said. “Children’s art is most certainly real art, and for children in particular, art can be a critical form of self-expression while language and writing skills are still developing.
“As an art teacher, I find it impossible to teach an art lesson, even to the youngest child, that does not incorporate cultural literacy, problem solving, critical thinking skills, or fundamental concepts from other disciplines. This is the very thing I find so appealing about art and what I have become so passionate about sharing with young children.”
McEahern, whose commissioned artworks are in both national and international private collections, has had a varied career in fine arts, working as a wall covering designer, interior designer, graphic designer and freelance artist. She also worked as a teacher assistant for the Oak Ridge Schools Preschool before becoming a private art teacher in 2010, offering individual and small group classes.
The Children’s Museum is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, and from 1-4 p.m. Sunday. The museum is closed Mondays except in the summer. General admission to the Children’s Museum is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors ages 62 and older, and $5 for children ages 3-18. Admission is free for children under 3 and museum members. For more information, call the Children’s Museum at (865) 482-1074 or see the web site at www.childrensmuseumofoakridge.org.