THAYER -- April is the highlighted month for youth art at the Chestnut Hill Art Gallery in downtown Thayer.
The exhibit titled "A New Generation of Art," in its second year, will feature art in a variety of media created by high school students from around the area.
Drawings, paintings, printmaking, collage and three-dimensional pieces will be on display.
Chestnut Hill owner Judith Cornelius said the month will be divided into two parts.
"The first exhibit opened April 5 and runs through April 15. A special program will be held April 8 with a reception from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.," Cornelius said.
The show will be coordinated by high school art instructors Ron McGarry from Willow Springs, Cherryl Brannon from Koshkonong School and Cornelius, a retired art instructor with almost 30 years of teaching art. She is a former member of the Missouri Art Education State Council and a former Missouri Art Teacher of the Year.
Cornelius said the April exhibit will be senior high school advanced student work from area schools.
"It is very surprising just how much creativity and talent lies in the youth of southern Missouri," Cornelius said.
The second half of the month will be what Cornelius called an extravaganza of an art show. "The gallery will host the Thayer High School juried show with approximately 100 pieces from students in grades seven through 12. Jamie Dixon is the Thayer High School art teacher," she said.
The show will run from April 20 through April 29. A special opening reception for students families and friends will be April 20 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The gallery owner said that through these student exhibits a person may get a personal view of the young person's world, their interests, concerns and an expression of their daily life.
"The arts play an important role in education. One of the most important lessons that it teaches is thinking skills, creative thinking foremost. Problem solving is another skill, and decision making, devising different solutions to a single problem," she said.
Cornelius said art has always reflected history, beginning with man leaving his stories on the walls of caves. She said the visual arts, literature, poetry, theater, music and dance have been the primary means of preserving the history of man.
"Visual art is one way of story telling. Art reflects sharing life's experiences and emotions. It tells us sometimes what is going on around us in our day in time and what is an important part of life," she said.
The Chestnut Hill Gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The gallery is located at 107 Chestnut Street. Cornelius said she invites the community to come out and view the work of the young, talented artists of the area.