Town Hall exhibit spotlights BASD student art

The Bethlehem Fine Arts Commission is hosting an art exhibition of work from students in the Bethlehem Area School District from April 3 to May 12 in the Rotunda Gallery at Bethlehem Town Hall.

The exhibit features art from all 22 schools in the district, with artists ranging from kindergarteners to high school seniors.

Richard Begbie, a co-chair of the Bethlehem Fine Arts Commission Rotunda Gallery Committee, is one of the people in charge of the exhibits.

Aniyah Nonnemacher, a sixth grade student, made a red dragon out of papier-mâché. Bethlehem Town Hall is hosting a student art exhibition of Bethlehem Area School District through the week April 4. (Shaoqing Zhang/BW Staff)

Begbie said they host a variety of art displays for the public throughout the year that rotate every six weeks.

The student art exhibit is held every other year, according to Begbie. The partnership started in 2018.

At each exhibition there is an opening reception to begin the six week showing. The reception for this year’s exhibit was on Sunday, April 3.

Opening receptions for art exhibits at the Rotunda Gallery usually gather around 100 people, but for this year’s student art event the turnout was about 540 people, according to Begbie.

For art teachers in the Bethlehem Area School District, this event provides the opportunity to present their students’ work.

Paintings, drawings, ceramics and artistic works can be observed at this year’s display.

Artwork for the exhibit is chosen by art teachers at each school who each have their own means for selecting what will be displayed.

Stacy Zellner, an art teacher at Broughal Middle School, said it was hard to choose a limited number of pieces.

Bethlehem Town Hall is hosting a student art exhibition for the Bethlehem Area School District through the week of April 4. The public show features artwork made of a variety of different mediums by the students. (Shaoqing Zhang/BW Staff)

“I didn’t say anything in front of the class,” Zellner said. “I just picked out work, and I told the kids individually. If they get over there to see it, great.”

For Lauren Ackerman, a ceramics teacher at Freedom High School, choosing artwork to display means choosing work from the students who are passionate and dedicated dreamers. This year, those students were two of her hardworking seniors.

“They’re students who work on their own time — who come with their own ideas,” Ackerman said. “They’re eager and dreamers and are always willing to go the extra mile.”

Ackerman also said it is important to allow artists to display their work and that the arts are important for communities: two ideas that the Bethlehem Fine Arts Commission’s exhibit supports.

“We, as artists, create work most times to be viewed and to impact others,” Ackerman said. “It’s an opportunity to know what it feels like to really bear their souls in public.”

The exhibit is open between 8:30 am and 4:00 pm every day until May 12, 2022.

People can take photos of the artwork featured in the public student show. Bethlehem Town Hall is hosting an almost month long student art exhibition of Bethlehem Area School District through the week of April 4. (Shaoqing Zhang/BW Staff)

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