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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Morean Arts Center’s Student Exhibition “My Personal Hero” more than an art exhibit


It was a pretty emotional moment to finally find out what my 10-year- old daughter, Randi drew and wrote about for the “Word & Image Exhibition: My Personal Hero.”  Several months earlier I received a note from the curator of exhibitions at the Morean Arts Center informing us that her artwork had been chosen for display in the Risser Gallery at the Morean Arts Center. Attached to it was a save the date card. I had no idea at that time what this meant except what my daughter told me and that was she drew a picture and wrote about her Papa.  I knew I needed to make sure her Papa,  who lives out of town was here for this event.

 The artwork was a project her art teacher did at her elementary school. I found out later it was
actually an assessment all Pinellas County fourth and fifth graders had to do and they were graded on. The top ones from each school were entered into the Morean Art Center’s exhibit. At the awards ceremony we were told that there were more than 500 entries and
79 students were selected to have their pieces on display. Randi is one of those 79. Two other students from Randi’s school also are part of the exhibit. One student wrote about her mom and the other one about the art teacher.

There were beautifully framed pieces of artwork all over the gallery made by the students. Randi’s drawing stood out on the wall because of the bright yellow and red hearts she painted. She also drew  a super hero type character of her Papa with the word “care” on his shirt and him saying “I care about you.” The students also had to write about why this person was their hero.  Randi wrote, “My personal hero is Tom Tubbs, my Papa. He is my grandpa, but I call him, Papa. I love him very much. One reason why I love him is because he always cares. He cares about me very much. Everything I do, he cares. He always asks me if I am ok when I am sad. Another reason why he is my hero is because he fought in a war. He flew the helicopter in the war, and he could have died. My Papa is such an inspiration to me because he cares and fought in a war. When I grow up, I hope to care as much as he does.”

It was incredible to see how people reacted to the paintings when they read what it said especially when it was about them being a personal hero. My father-in-law was so touched. You could tell it just melted his heart to see his granddaughter cared so much about him. Other kids painted and wrote about their moms, dads, grandpas, grandmas, teachers, cousins and friends.

Who’s your hero? Most of us have someone we consider a hero in or life or someone we admire. Why not take a minute to let your hero know what they mean to you. Acknowledging a person with a personal note or letter can have such an impact.

For the past 18 years, the Morean Arts Center has partnered with the Pinellas County School System to showcase student’s artwork. Each year, there’s a different theme. I think this year’s theme was more than an art exhibition, but a life exhibition and something that will last beyond April 15th when the student’s display is over.

The exhibit is free of charge and is located at 719 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg. 

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