Kids Cowboy Up Exhibit opens Tuesday
by Marie Nesmith
Nov 15, 2010 | 1924 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Booth Education Assistant Peggy Cline and Exhibition Manager Eric King prepare children’s art work for Tuesday’s opening of the Kids Cowboy Up Exhibition at the Booth Western Art Museum. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
Booth Education Assistant Peggy Cline and Exhibition Manager Eric King prepare children’s art work for Tuesday’s opening of the Kids Cowboy Up Exhibition at the Booth Western Art Museum. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
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In its seventh year, the Booth Western Art Museum's Kids Cowboy Up initiative is continuing to foster young artists. Provided to youth enrolled at the Hands of Christ after-school program and the Boys & Girls Clubs' Cartersville Unit, the offering consists of a combination of on-site activities and, when possible, visits to the Cartersville museum.

Beginning Tuesday, the public will be able to view some of the children's creations as about 74 pieces of their art will be displayed at the Booth's Borderlands Gallery.

"It's an outreach program for the Booth museum," Booth Education Assistant Peggy Cline said. "We're trying to benefit the children of our community.

"We want ... them [to] have a lifelong interest in art and art history and try to develop their artistic skills ... So it's something that is near and dear to our hearts as far as helping out the children and hopefully they get a lot from this. I've definitely seen over the years a lot of kids grow and some very talented artists in our community."

Unlike the Boys & Girls Clubs, the Hands of Christ program is privy to transportation, enabling students to visit the museum throughout the school year. After each group tours a special exhibit at the Booth, Cline will visit the Hands of Christ children and conduct an art project. The hands-on activity will relate to artwork they viewed at the museum, such as sketching a scene from Yosemite National Park following a tour focussing on Ansel Adams' landscape photographs.

In addition to viewing the children's artwork through Jan. 9, the public is invited to meet the young artists at a reception in the Borderlands Gallery Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. Immediately following the gathering, John Mariana will discuss the artistic nature of Adams' images in the Booth Theatre.

"This is probably one of the strongest collaborative partners that we have -- the Kids Cowboy Up and of course the Booth Western Art Museum. They're at the club every single Wednesday," said Gordon Gilley, chief professional officer for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bartow County, which serves nearly 125 students daily at its Cartersville Unit. "Hundreds and hundreds of young people have benefited over the last seven years in this collaborative by not only what they do on a [weekly] basis at the club but [also the program's] culmination in a fine arts exhibit in a world class museum. So the enhancement is there, the opportunity to participate and be involved in hands-on instruction by an artist and an instructor.

"[The exhibit] culminates what I know they do on a weekly basis. But more importantly it shows them, especially in front of their parents or their grandparents or their guardian who walks [in] with them," he said, about the youth initially viewing their artwork in the Booth museum. "Physically you can see [their excitement]. Their shoulders go back. Their chest goes out a little bit. They point. They smile. Of course every child's different. Some of them will go, 'Look, look, look, look.' Some will shyly walk down the hall and point up at their picture. And the parents are just stunned sometimes looking at it. They had no idea their young person could do that."

Like Gilley, Angela Rivers -- director of the Hands of Christ's Douglas Street United Methodist Church site -- also has seen the program's impact on her organization's fourth-through 12th-graders.

"It provides the opportunity to become comfortable in museum settings and to have professional art classes that otherwise they would not have access to," she said.

For more information about the Kids Cowboy Up Art Exhibit, call the museum at 770-387-1300.