March is Youth Art Month at Selbyville library

For the staff of the Selbyville Public Library, March is always an exciting month because it ushers in local artwork produced by students in celebration of National Youth Art Month. The display brings with it an increase in patronage and pride, along with the annual judging and awards ceremony, representatives noted.

The work is curated by Jackie Bates, head of the Arts in the Community Committee of the Selbyville Community Club, who said art is foundational in unexpected and important ways.

“Art is the foundation for many programs including science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), which are part of current curriculums.”

Bates credits the time teachers put in to focus on the arts in their classrooms as having a broad reach — not only with the art that the community can see on display all month at the Selbyville library, but in those other subjects as well — the concept being that, really, art is truly everywhere.

Selbyville Public Library Director Kelly Kline said she and the staff are constantly fascinated by the art.

“This gives us a unique look into the minds of our young people,” said Kline. “And, of course, we all look forward to the awards ceremony which gives the students recognition for their body of work.”

The displayed art is judged on a rubric by a panel of judges who award the students in a number of categories including three-dimensional art, painting and photography. Bates said she is also excited to introduce a new group medium from the Southern Delaware School of the Arts for viewing this year.

The awards ceremony will take place on Saturday, March 9, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the library.

In addition, there are many programs going on throughout the month of March designed support the theme of art and the focus on youth, and Mary Daisey Shockley, the new Youth Services coordinator, said she is very keen to foster the love of art over the course of the month.

The events are kicking off with a “delicious” art project on March 7 at 4 p.m., where kids can make their own sushi rolls out of candy. On March 14 at 4 p.m., Pop in Art night is an all-ages event where kids can try a variety of painting projects, including blow-painting, pull string art and tape-resistant art. And the Harry Potter Lego build is happening every Monday afternoon at 3:30 p.m.

While the focus may be on youth in the arts, there is also something for everyone to enjoy, representatives noted.

Bria Lawrence, who joined the library as the Adult Services coordinator this time last year, said she is excited to host a Forgery Paint Night on Monday, March 4, where participants will create a mock copy of Claude Monet’s “Field of Poppies” with Laurie Melniczek, who owns Craftbox STEM in Fenwick Island.

The Selbyville Library will be hosting a Delaware Humanities showing of “Mercury 13” on Thursday, March 21, at 6 p.m. The documentary is about 13 women who passed all the tests given to them to become astronauts at NASA but were barred from taking the final test — meaning only men were selected for the program.

Some of the programs require registration, so those wishing to participate should visit the Event Calendar on the website at www.selbyvillelibrary.org or call (302) 436-8195 to reserve a spot.