An example of the “Blooming Artists” exhibition from 2023.

An example of the “Blooming Artists” exhibition from 2023.

‘Blooming Artists' opens Tuesday in Port Angeles

PORT ANGELES — The Port Angeles Fine Arts Center will host a reception for the opening of its third exhibition of “Blooming Artists” fro 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Attendees can enjoy fresh veggies from the school gardens, a plant start potting station and get creative at an art activity station.

The annual exhibit of elementary student artwork is on display at the center’s Esther Webster Gallery, 1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd. “Blooming Artists” will be on display from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays though Sundays from June 6-30.

This exhibit represents a year of integrated arts, science and garden learning from kindergarteners through second-graders in the Port Angeles School District.

It showcases artwork from more than 260 students exploring the world of insects, pollination, habitat, plants and soil regeneration.

“This year I have been so impressed with the way the students in the Creative Start program have jumped into our art lessons,” said Mandy Miller, the center’s youth education director. “They have a willingness to try new things and new mediums, such as pouring beeswax onto their collages without hesitation or diving into making paper flowers.

“I also got to witness their enthusiasm when our classroom lessons were brought to life through hands-on examples. I’m honored to have worked with such great artists and observers of the natural world, and I invite all of our community members to come out to celebrate the hard work they put into their learning.”

The center’s staff partnered with teachers, volunteers, school district Native American liaisons and staff from Washington State University’s Clallam County extension to provide project-based education that integrates art, science and playful movement.

Each school’s garden program allows students to get hands-on while learning about plants, soil and composting.

Partners in the Blooming Artists project include: Washington State University’s Clallam County extension, Port Angeles School District Native American Liaison Carmen Watson Charles, Klallam Language Department and Franklin Elementary first-grade teacher Sarah Schaefermeyer.

The project was made possible by a Creative Start Grant from the Washington State Arts Commission.

Teaching artists working with the project include Robin Bundi, Erika Wurm, Ariel Zimman, Gea Court and Carmen Watson Charles.

Wurm and Zimman will have samples of their own artwork on display, and for sale, in the exhibition.

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