Hundreds of student artists to showcase works at Lewisburg Area Art Show

May 8—LEWISBURG — Lewisburg Area AP Art students Lillian Hidlay and Valen Henry both were looking forward to the 2024 districtwide art show this year.

Hidlay and Henry, both 17-year-old juniors, are among the hundreds of students with art pieces in the show at the high school gymnasium. A public reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the school, 545 Newman Road.

"This is the highlight of my year," said Hidlay. "I'm already thinking of what I want to do next year."

Henry spent their full day on Tuesday helping to set up the rows and tables full of art in a variety of styles, including paintings, drawings, pottery, weavings, sculptures, prints, acrylic, collages, ceramics and dioramas from students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Henry has helped set up every year since ninth grade.

"I have a great time here," Henry said. "Look at the beautiful art. It's inspirational."

Hidlay said she channels her life experiences into her art as well as her cultural experiences in the African American culture, drag culture and the Ballroom scene, an African-American and Latino underground LGBTQ+ subculture.

"It's a huge therapy thing for me," she said. "I'm adopted and I never knew my birth parents. There's always been mystery and identity in my art."

One of her paintings is a protest piece to challenge the legislation targeting drag shows.

"Drag is an art form for everybody," she said. "It's freedom of speech."

Henry said they lost their mother at age 9 and recently their great-grandmother.

"It's a way to get my emotions out and a way to process death," they said.

Henry created two vultures made out of dried clay with wireframe, tinfoil, and hot-glued tissue paper.

High school art teacher Christy Emigh said the students are fortunate to have an administration and community that supports the arts in Lewisburg.

"The students enjoy creating and coming up with ideas," said Emigh. "Everything is related to art. The chair you sit in, the clothing you wear, the building you're in, someone had to come up with that. Art is everywhere. It's not just paintings or drawings."

Other teachers involved are Hillary Cree and Carolynn Mori at the high school, Emily Gaugler at the middle school, Bryce Snyder at Linntown Intermediate and Sara Jarrett at Kelly Elementary.