This article can be found published on the Daily Local News‘ website.
EXTON — It’s one thing to have students’ work displayed around their school buildings, but for students at East Goshen Elementary, their creations are being displayed at the Exton Square Mall in a makeshift art gallery in an empty store until Sunday.
“It’s kind of cool,” said Justin Spencer, a fourth grader at East Goshen. “It’s weird that people are looking at what I drew.”
With people coming in to see his work, Spencer must feel a little famous, right?
“No,” he said with a laugh.
He may not feel famous, but his art teacher, Tracy McCloskey, knows he should.
… [Please continue the story on the Daily Local News website by clicking here.]
“I said to them, ‘It’s like you’re famous,’” she said. “To have something special up somewhere, even in the hallways, they get excited. To have it out in a space like this for their family and friends, it’s so interesting and something they’ll really remember forever.”
The gallery, which is located on the upper floor of the mall across from Bath & Body Works, opened Thursday night with a reception for the students and parents.
The small space, with every inch filled from floor to ceiling with artwork, was also jammed wall-to-wall with people as the artists proudly showed off their work and posed by it for pictures.
“I was here three different nights setting up the space and even having one door open and the lights all off, there was so much attention and people wanting to come and look in the window,” McCloskey said. “It’s hard to walk by and not go in and see what it’s about. We always have a really great turnout with our school everywhere.”
The art show concept isn’t new to East Goshen — though it is in a brand new venue this year.
“We have an all-school art show every other year at East Goshen,” McCloskey said. “The past couple years we have done something different and had it in our school. I thought it would be interesting to have it out somewhere where the public could see it and get a little bit more recognition. I used to teach at the Chester County Art Association, so I knew they had a space at the mall. I thought this could happen and then it did.”
The gallery features nearly 400 pieces of artwork; each student in the elementary school participated.
“There are 17 classes total, kindergarten through fifth grade,” McCloskey said. “Every student has a piece and I made sure everybody was different — we did a little bit of three-dimensional work with fifth grade paper masks and fish prints. There were artists that we learned about and just different techniques.”
The different artists they learned about varied from Eric Carle and Vincent Van Gogh to Georgia O’Keeffe and Andy Warhol.
“We spent three weeks, maybe (on the subject),” Spencer said. “It wasn’t that hard. When we used the compass, that was simple.”
The gallery will be open through Sunday with someone always inside to answer any questions and watch over the work.
“Every time the space is open, there has to be a volunteer here,” McCloskey said. “We had parents and teachers sign up to help with that.”
Once the gallery closes, the students will have the chance to take their work home with them, where maybe it will be hung up again.
“I think it will,” Spencer said with a smile. “Probably.”