By Katie Scarvey, Salisbury Post
Even though parking was at a premium with the Liberty Street construction creating havoc downtown, the Young People's Gallery at the Waterworks Visual Arts Center was still crowded with people last Wednesday afternoon.
Parents, grandparents, students, teachers and friends came out to see the Elementary Art Show featuring the work of Rowan-Salisbury students.
Guests munched on cookies and goldfish crackers and Waterworks' signature snack -- Skittles candy in bright primary colors that echoed the colors of the student art.
Some of the student-created food was attractive but inedible.
A table of three-dimensional faux food art crafted by students included a taco and pizza slices. There were also two plates of spaghetti and meatballs, created with paper and paint by Landis fifth-graders Tiffany Brown and Heather Thompson.
Rockwell kindergartner Kato Crump showed his parents his figure drawing -- a guy wearing a green shirt with a yellow rabbit on front.
"He loves art," said Kato's father, Hughey Crump. "We can't keep paper in the house. He'll even pull out the printer paper from the computer."
Jessica Manning, an Overton fourth-grader, pointed out her classmate Frankie Belk's pop art featuring Glad Cling Wrap, Oscar Meyer Bacon and a box of Wheaties. Jessica's own piece was a colorful study of hands, also done in a pop art style for art specialist Rosemary Beard.
Taylor Barringer, a Bostian Elementary second grader, was there showing her grandparents the turtle drawing she had created for Crystal Lineberger.
School Board member Kyle Huffman was on hand to enjoy the show and support the arts.
"Art helps promote well-rounded individuals," he said.
Mesmerizing undulating line compositions were created by Tabitha Stricklin, a Mount Ulla fourth-grader, Ellen Watts, a Cleveland Elementary fifth-grader, and Brittany Hepburn, a Rockwell fourth-grader.
Three Faith Elementary fifth-graders created tempera studies of the legs of athletes pursuing various winter sports. Zack Grkman painted a snowboarder, Chris Pellerin a hockey player, and Dusty Goodman a skier.
Debra Brazis, Waterworks teaching coordinator, complimented Rowan-Salisbury art specialist Amanda Russell on her approach in this particular project.
"I think this was just a great way to teach kids to use a different perspective. It teaches the students that you don't have to draw the whole picture," she said.
Brazis also liked a watercolor done by Brenda Delasancha of North Rowan Elementary that looked like an impressionistic Christmas card. Her art teacher is Pamela Bendele.
"This one stands out for me," Brazis said. "It has some of the same qualities of professional art. It draws you in to examine it; it makes you ask what it is that makes you like it so much."
Waterworks executive director Denny Mechum loves young people's art.
"This is the way we get into their world," she said.
"I love the ones that come right out of their imaginations," she said, pointing to a work by second-grader Cassidy Chunn done in the style of Joan Miro.
Knollwood fifth-grader Blair Streater created a beautiful pastel drawing inspired by Van Gogh's "Starry Night" for art teacher Rosemary Beard.
Several of Kim Nance's young artists -- including Jessica Hobbs-Mullins of Cleveland Elementary and Randy Culbertson and Courtney Barbee of Landis Elementary -- made beautiful leaf portraits of glue resist with chalk pastel.
Hanford-Dole fifth grader Justin Strube, a student of art teacher Amanda Russell, had a three-dimensional snake in the exhibit.
Shawn Mullis, a fourth grader at Landis Elementary created an origami cat and mouse for teacher Kim Nance.
Third-grader Molly Cogburn from Mount Ulla did a "create a creature" project for art specialist Annemarie Tankersley.
To describe her fantasy creature Molly wrote:"Three-headed fire breather. Habitat: Caves and swamps. Eats: Worms, grass, pizza and hot dogs."
The Rowan-Salisbury elementary school art teachers are Rosemary Beard, Kim Nance, Amanda Russell, Crystal Lineberger, Pamela Bendele, Jacquelyne Black, Denise Whitley, Annemarie Tankersley and Christy Snyder.
Contact Katie Scarvey at 704-797-4270 or firstname.lastname@example.org.