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Benton library blossoms with art exhibition

  • Mixed-media paintings and object collages create a unique art exhibit at the Benton Public Library. The works are the creations of Benton Grade School students from kindergarten through third grade.

    Mixed-media paintings and object collages create a unique art exhibit at the Benton Public Library. The works are the creations of Benton Grade School students from kindergarten through third grade.
    Photo courtesy of Jennifer Fitzpatrick

  • Charley Dieringer's night landscape is one of the pieces on display at the Benton Public Library.

    Charley Dieringer's night landscape is one of the pieces on display at the Benton Public Library.
    Photo courtesy of Jennifer Fitzpatrick

  • wyatt Benton Grade School kindergarten student Wyatt Williams created this self-portrait as part of the 'collage characters' project in Jennifer Fitzpatrick's art class. The Benton Public Library is hosting a display of student work this month.

    wyatt Benton Grade School kindergarten student Wyatt Williams created this self-portrait as part of the 'collage characters' project in Jennifer Fitzpatrick's art class. The Benton Public Library is hosting a display of student work this month.
    Photo courtesy of Jennifer Fitzpatrick

 
updated: 3/13/2017 9:16 AM

Among the many programs and projects going on at the Benton Public Library this month is an exhibition of artwork by young area artists.

Since returning from Christmas break, Benton Grade School students have been working on a variety of mixed media projects with their teacher, Jennifer Fitzpatrick.

Three of Fitzpatrick's students have work traveling through several St. Louis venues as part of the St. Louis Symphony's "Picture the Music" program. Those three students' art was selected from nearly 13,000 participants throughout southern Illinois and Missouri.

Fitzpatrick's classes also did a project called "Collage Characters." Inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to learning, the goal of the project is to encourage artistic behaviors such as exploration, play, observation and discovery in the course of creating art.

The kindergarten students collected small objects from home and brought them into the art room. They looked into mirrors and created pictures of themselves using the objects.

"They had to find the qualities of their facial features in the colors, shapes, and textures of the found objects," Fitzpatrick said. "The results, as you can see, are full of invention, humor and surprise.

While the display contains just a sampling of art from students in grade kindergarten through third, Fitzpatrick says "all of Benton's young artists deserve recognition for the courage it takes to create."