ANDERSON — Following uncertainty if a popular student art show would return this year, organizers are now wondering if they’ll be able to present winners with prizes.
Coordinators for the 15th annual Student Art Exhibition are seeking money to give as cash prizes to contest winners.
Co-coordinator Theresa Lucas said she’s nowhere near the $1,500 to 2,000 she’s looking to give to high school winners. If she doesn’t find the money, the teenage artists will get either a significantly smaller reward or won’t get one at all.
“I know that growing up, the emphasis was never just on the arts in school,” she said. “The kids are so talented and don’t get enough recognition that they deserve. We want to encourage them that they’re good at (art).”
The Art Association of Madison County (AAMC) normally rotates getting grants between the Madison County Community Foundation and the South Madison County Community Foundation for the student exhibition, but this year it didn’t receive money from either.
The lack of funds originally made organizers wonder if they’d be able to scramble enough to even host the art show, which is scheduled to run March 2 to 15. In addition to the prize fund, the grant money normally helps pay to rent the venue in Mounds Mall, insurance and a judge.
But Lucas said organizations, businesses and friends have already donated enough to cover operating costs to host the art show. She also had a little bit of money left over from a collection jar at last year’s show.
Co-coordinator Maureen Kirchenbauer said she started the art show 15 years ago so that high school students who normally aren’t considered the most artistically gifted at school could be recognized for their great creations.
One year a senior said his art teacher only displayed the best kids’ art, so the Student Art Exhibit was the first time he ever had a piece displayed, Kirchenbauer said. Another time, a girl came in with a drawing on a piece of school paper and asked if she could enter it.