The U.S. Department of Education introduced art created by 37 students from Chesterfield County, Va. schools today in a ceremony welcoming the students and their art at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Education Building, 400 Maryland Ave. S.W., in Washington, D.C.
Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education Thelma Melendez de Santa Ana welcomed the students with opening remarks. Chesterfield County School Board Chair Marshall Trammell, board members and Chesterfield County Superintendent Marcus Newsome joined the student artists, their parents, teachers and other school officials at the celebration. The students’ art will be on display through Nov. 6, at the U.S. Department of Education headquarters in Washington, D.C.
“The arts are a core academic subject and part of a complete education for all students,” said U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan. “The arts are important to American students as they develop skills such as creativity, perseverance and problem solving, which they need to succeed in college and careers in the global marketplace.”
“The Human Form in Art” was chosen as the theme of the exhibit because “this is always a fascinating area for artists of all ages to explore and is an important part of our curriculum and the Virginia Standards of Learning,” said Lin Ferrell, Chesterfield's instructional specialist for visual arts. The art that will be on display was selected from the school system's 2009 Arts and Sciences Festival. This will be the first district-wide exhibit in the Department of Education's six-year Student Art Exhibit Program.
The Student Art Exhibit Program displays art from the nation's classrooms at the facilities of the U.S. Department of Education. The purpose of the program is both to honor the artists and emphasize the role of the arts in education. The public is invited to visit the exhibit between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.