FORT WAYNE, Indiana--Of all the great exhibits hosted each year by the Fort Wayne Museum of Art this has to be the most exciting..the annual Scholastic Art and Writing Competition…art works by northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio high school kids competing for college art scholarships with the rest of the country and our kids are among the best. Of the 115 regions competing across the nation, the Fort Wayne region is consistently in the top ten.
“We’re beating Indianapolis every year,” says museum spokesperson Max Meyer. “We’re beating cities like Chicago, L.A., Dallas, Houston, Miami, entire states like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.”
One thousand local high school artworks are on display and they speak volumes about what’s on young people’s minds…the often hidden sadness, for instance, many teens cope with…or the feeling they’re not quite in charge of their lives, this work is by snider high school senior Alexys Paonessa. Lots of self portraits, too…the teen years are for self discovery, after all. But the art showcased here is also of the written variety, short stories and poems hung on the wall just like other artworks…this poem about loss, called ‘I Must Stay’ is by South Bend eighth grader Lily Walsh.
“Teenagers are supposed to have ADHD, care more about their IPhones than other human beings, like to go to the mall and shop online,” says Max Meyer. “No, these kids are engaged in society.”
A million dollars in college scholarships will be awarded this year to students in the Fort Wayne region and this art museum is to thank for much of that, organizing this program, visiting schools, encouraging students…and footing the bill for it all, about 45-thousand dollars a year.
But the payback is huge…just walk through this gallery…if your faith in humanity is waning this exhibit will restore it. These are our children, sizing up the world, forging their future..watching very closely to see what we adults value in life. This is Eric Olson reporting.
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