By Carrie Breitbach
Rockford Art Museum Education Director
The first Young Artist Show occurred in the spring of 1941, demonstrating the Rockford Art Association’s (now Rockford Art Museum) commitment to young, emerging artists in the greater Rockford region. The exhibition included 57 artworks of various media by 28 artists, including high school upperclassmen and college-age artists. The choice to make the Young Artist Show a part of the museum’s annual exhibition schedule revealed the museum’s understanding of the dynamic role art experiences and art education play in the lives of young people.
Since its inception, the Young Artist Show has evolved and grown to become a Rockford tradition. Today, the popular exhibition bears a reputation of excellence, expanding from its modest local beginnings to become a regional show featuring students from public, private, parochial and home-school settings. It is consistently Rockford Art Museum’s most popular exhibition of the year.
The exhibition now includes two distinct exhibits, the Youth Division (for grades kindergarten through eighth grade in Winnebago County) and the High School Division (grades 9-12 within 50 miles of Rockford), both recognizing and celebrating outstanding students and dedicated teachers who contribute to the quality of artwork submitted.
Rockford Art Museum remains an enthusiastic advocate for visual arts programming throughout area schools and proudly presents this annual exhibition. Exhibiting the artwork of area students not only gives participants a sense of pride and accomplishment, it also enriches the lives of their families, participating teachers and, ultimately, the Rockford community.
From the March 2-8, 2011, issue