Avondale School District Student’s Art Selected for National Exhibit

Seven-year old Chase Smith’s piece “Solar System” to be displayed at

Kennedy Center


Deerfield Elementary student Chase Smith with “Solar System”

Deerfield Elementary student Chase Smith with
“Solar System”

Fifteen students from Deerfield Elementary in the Avondale School District swept the VSA (Very Special Arts) Michigan competition last spring and had their artwork chosen for a year-long tour that began this past summer. In addition, one student piece, created by seven-year old Chase Smith, was chosen to be displayed in the national VSA exhibit at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.  The other VSA Michigan winners from Deerfield Elementary are Chase Arthur, Aliza Bhatti, Evan Bruce, Ayden Chartland, Joshua Cooper, Raymond Hartbarger, Jr., Charlie Hill, Abigail Kennedy, Megan Ketterer, NaYel Leal, Alexander Lopez-Hernandez, Albert “Hank” Martin, Carl Tisler and Jeremy Willhite.

VSA Michigan solicits artwork created by artists with disabilities. The organization supports efforts to create a society where people with disabilities participate in, learn through, excel in and enjoy the arts. Avondale teacher, Kathryn Suender submitted the artwork on the students’ behalf because she understands what an important message this sends to the students. “The recognition serves as validation for the students that they can compete and they can win. I’m so very proud of all their beautiful artwork. They are amazing people.”

The student art was chosen from approximately 150 submissions to be part of the VSA Emerging Artists’ Touring Exhibit. The exhibit tours to schools, libraries, arts and community centers, hospitals, nursing homes, malls and other public venues and is available for arts, education and disability conferences through the year. Chase Smith’s piece will be on display at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts during the month of November and the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art from January to April, 2016 as part of the Yo Soy… Je Suis… I  Am… The Future exhibit.

Yo Soy… Je Suis… I Am… The Future, the exhibit’s theme, was chosen as a way to encourage children to think about their future and consider questions including: Who will I be in the future?  Where will I live? What are my hopes and dreams? How will I change the world?  The artist’s ability to demonstrate their answers to these questions is one of the judging criteria along with quality and technical proficiency of the art itself. The panel of judges is usually made up of people in the field of visual arts, from art business to academics including practicing artists, museum administrators and university educators.

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