VCS Students' Artwork Showcased


DELAND – Adjudicated artwork from Volusia County Schools students in kindergarten through 12th grade will be showcased at the 49th Annual Volusia Students Create Exhibition.

The show’s opening will be 2-4 p.m. Sunday, March 28, at the Gateway Center for the Arts, 880 N. U.S. Highway 17-92, DeBary.

The exhibition will continue through April 26, open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. The public is invited to attend, and admission is free. Mandatory face-coverings and social distancing policies will be in place.

Artwork created by 130 students from 55 schools has been selected for Volusia Students Create, said Bryce Hammond, VCS Visual Arts Specialist. The annual exhibition showcases top artworks from all levels – elementary, middle, and high – and serves to document the progress student artists have made during the school year.

Pieces featured on the invitation announcing the show’s opening are: “Self Love” by Ryanne Ferriero, senior at DeLand High (art teacher: Kristan Kinsella-Brinley); “Bee and Rose” by Audrey Brown, 8th grader at Southwestern Middle (art teacher: Rose Tipitino); and “Fish” by Azalea Lara, 1st grader at George Marks Elementary (art teacher: Janet Stone).

The coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on student art instruction, especially for remote learners and their teachers. Art exhibitions have also undergone drastic changes over the past year. School-based shows and most community art festivals were canceled. Several local art festivals conducted virtual student exhibitions that were shared through video. Some local art exhibitions were held in-person, but attendance was limited.

“We had to emerge from last spring and reset with new expectations, but we’ve adjusted and we feel optimistic,” Hammond said. “Our community art partners have been amazing to support our students and teachers in so many ways as we’ve all navigated this challenging year.”

Like Volusia Students Create, other art exhibitions this spring will be held in-person, using lessons learned during the pandemic. Ribbons will be placed on the winning pieces at the upcoming exhibition, but there will be no formal ceremony. Artwork will be spaced to allow more flow for attendees, and refreshments will be in single-serve containers.

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