A show in downtown Concord celebrates the union of children and art.
“I’m making an octopus. It can swim up, up, up in the sea,” said Victor Onipede, 3, of Concord as he carefully manipulated the edges of his scissors around his paper creation. “I’m so great at making an octopus. They are my favorite. They look like a fish and eat water and his face looks like a ninja.”
Victor and the rest of his classmates at the Ruckus House Learning Center, Moss Creek worked to create a piece of underwater art for the Celebration of the Children Art Show. The show runs through May 7 at The Union Square Building at 11 Union St. in downtown Concord.
The Cabarrus, Rowan, Stanly Association for the Education of Young Children has sponsored the event for nearly 20 years. The kick-off of the art show coincides annually with the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s Week of the Young Child celebration, April 12-18.
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“We are an affiliate of the national association,” said Lisa Wallace, director of Stepping Stones Preschool in Harrisburg who is co-chairing the event with Gwen O’Neal, director at Gilwood Presbyterian Church Preschool in Concord.
“The goal of the NAEYC and the local affiliates is to promote high-quality early learning for all children, birth through age 8, by connecting practice, policy and research,” Wallace said. “Besides being just plain fun, art provides children the opportunity to express themselves creatively and encourages development in all areas. We want to showcase some of the wonderful works being created by young artists at programs in our area.”
Those artists include Hunter Jarrell, 3, of Concord and Brianna Tucker, 3, of Kannapolis.
“I used paint on my hands and it tickles,” said Brianna, who admired the blue finger paint smeared between her fingers and across the paper stretched on the table. “I like to paint because panting makes me feel nice ... I am making blue fishy water, and fishy water is stinky because sharks eat goldfish.”
“I made a hippo,” Hunter said. “He has a big mouth because I made one.”
Hunter, Brianna and the rest of the 3-year-old classmates worked together to make the ocean panorama for each child’s sea creature artwork.
The art show exhibits individual and group works of art from children ages 8 and under in child care centers, N.C. Pre-K programs and elementary schools in Cabarrus, Rowan and Stanly counties.
Wallace expects about 15 local centers will participate in the non-judged artwork display. The young artists will enjoy a drop-in punch and cookies reception on May 2 from 10 a.m.-noon, during Historic Concord’s Spring Into Arts Festival.
The festival is an annual family-friendly event in downtown Concord that showcases and promotes the visual and performing arts. It features a juried art show, musical entertainment, food and a children’s area designed to inspire the artistic side of all who attend.
Kristen Fortin is a freelance writer for Cabarrus News. Have a story idea for Kristen? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.