Virtual Art Show provides creative outlet

virtual art show

Zoey Byer of Oregon City submitted a work entitled “Deep” as part of the OSU Virtual Art Show, featuring 25 youth artists.

The pandemic and social unrest were a lot for youth to process, and families in Oregon State University Extension Service’s 4-H Youth Development Program asked for opportunities for their children to be creative and reflective.

The OSU Virtual Art Show opened last April, featuring the works of 25 young artists. The pieces include digital art, ceramics, watercolor and acrylic painting, and even a musical composition. The show’s theme was “Healing Through Art.”

“Art is a way for youth to give voice to their feelings. Entries expressed a wide range of emotions including anger, joy, confusion, and connection to others,” says Wendy Hein, 4-H Faculty member in Clackamas County.

Youth in Washington, Multnomah and Clackamas Counties could participate for free and submit up to two art works. A faculty member in the OSU College of Liberal Arts awarded two scholarships for School of Arts and Communication’s 2021 summer JumpstART program to two distinguished high school artists. Local 4-H volunteer Anne Howden, owner of Annie’s Hangups in Oregon City, chose prize winners in the elementary and middle school divisions.

“Art tells a story, and we wanted to create a space that elevates local young artists and their experiences,” said Kristen Moore, a 4-H faculty member in Washington County. “This couldn’t have happened without new partnerships.”

For the first time, a team spanning 4-H, the OSU Portland Center, the OSU College of Liberal Arts, OSU Precollege Programs, and OSU Information Services worked together throughout the fall and winter to plan the show. The team met weekly and collaborated with volunteers and community partners from 4-H Teen Teacher Corps, Native American Youth and Family Center, Centro Cultural, and Hacienda CDC.

See Virtual Art Show exhibits: