(Posted Jan. 9, 2022)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
A new format for a long-standing event will celebrate not only the performing arts but also the visual arts.
The Madison County Arts Council’s (MCAC) annual Young Artist Showcase is back for the first time since 2020. This time, in addition to musical performances by local youths, the showcase will include announcement of the winners of the Kurt Lattimer Aspiring Artist Award and a reception. Entrants’ artwork will be on display.
The event will take place at 3 p.m. Jan. 22 at First United Methodist Church of London, 52 N. Main St. Admission is free. A freewill offering will be taken at the door.
This marks the start of a new partnership between MCAC and organizers of the Aspiring Artist Award. The Aspiring Artist Award is an art contest open to Madison County high school seniors. Each year, all entrants are invited to a reception. Winners earn cash prizes.
Kim Lattimer Reeder, one of the contest’s founders and the mother of the person for whom the contest is named, said family and friends have been great about donating money for prizes, the reception, and other costs over the years. As the contest has progressed, she said she has been looking for additional financial support. Grants are one avenue, she said, but many organizations require applicants to have non-profit status or affiliation with a non-profit.
Valerie Peart, an MCAC member and organizer of this year’s Young Artist Showcase, connected with Reeder to help make that happen. Under MCAC’s non-profit umbrella, the Aspiring Artist Award program can now apply for grants. For this year’s contest, the Ohio Arts Council matched the program’s fundraising efforts dollar for dollar, presenting the program with $2,800 to help with expenses.
Peart and Reeder are excited about the new partnership between their arts programs.
“We fit together in a way that benefits each other,” Peart said.
Both local organizations reward and celebrate students involved in the arts, and the art contest gives MCAC, whose focus has been primarily the performing arts, more of a presence in the visual arts in the community.
“I think it’s going to be an awesome event,” Reeder said about the upcoming showcase and reception.
The Jan. 22 event will start with musical performances by youths from Madison-Plains, London, and West Jefferson schools, as well as students from Tolles Career & Technical Center. London Elementary’s youth choir and the Treble Tones, a community children’s choir, also will perform.
Audience members can expect a mix of vocal and instrumental numbers featuring everything from classical pieces to musical theater numbers.
Peart said the showcase gives young performers an outlet to show off their talents and mingle with youths from outside their usual circles who share similar interests. It also gives parents and the community an opportunity to see and enjoy what local students can do.
The prize announcements and reception for the Aspiring Artist Award program will follow the musical performances. The art contest includes two new categories this year–digital art (anything generated on a computer) and three-dimensional art (stained glass, mosaics, and ceramics). The third category is paintings/drawings.
There’s still time for Madison County seniors to submit entries for the art contest. The deadline is 12 p.m. Jan. 21. Entries can be dropped off at First United Methodist Church of London as follows: Jan. 16-18, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1-3 p.m.; Jan. 19, 9 a.m.-12 p.m., 1-3 p.m., and 4-6 p.m.; and Jan. 21, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. For more information, visit aspiringartistaward.com. For more information, visit aspiringartistaward.com.