Seymour students have been busy drawing, painting, coloring, sculpting and this year rehearsing to get ready for the annual spring art exhibit.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the event, organizers are planning a bigger and more involved show that combines visual artwork with performing arts.

A Celebration of the Arts will showcase the creative talents of more than 800 students in kindergarten through 12th grade from Seymour Community Schools, Trinity Lutheran High School, Immanuel Lutheran School and St. Ambrose Catholic School.

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The event will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 25 at Shops at Seymour in Suite 315, 357 Tanger Blvd. Art also will be on display from 1 to 3 p.m. April 26, when the local Tri Kappa sorority will host a reception for student artists and their families.

To attract even more interest and participation in the event from the arts community, the schools are working with Southern Indiana Center for the Arts and the Greater Seymour Chamber of Commerce.

Artists from around the state and region have been invited to set up at the show to demonstrate their craft and sell their artwork. Area college art programs, museums and the T.C. Steele State Historic Site in Brown County will have booths set up to provide information and displays of art.

A variety of media will be represented, such as oil, acrylic and watercolor painting, drawing, sculpture and modeling, pottery, glass, metal and woodwork, graphic art, photography and textiles.

“This celebration is designed to be a community event that showcases the talents of students in area schools as well as other artists within our community and state,” said Mariella Wehmiller, who teaches art classes at Redding and Brown elementary schools. “Our goal is for the community to be able to see and create art in as many different ways as possible.”

Besides art displays, there will be a wide variety of activities for the public to enjoy, too, she said.

Local bands and musicians along with vocal and instrumental ensembles from the schools will perform throughout the afternoon. And art students will dress as famous artists to mingle with the crowd, Wehmiller said.

Food vendors will be present for people to purchase lunch. Organizers are still accepting applications for both art and food vendors and musical performers.

One of the highlights of the Celebration of Arts will be a community art project, which will be created at the event.

“All visitors will be able to add their brushstrokes to a canvas,” Wehmiller said. “We will be working with the Seymour Recycling Center for materials.”

There will be sidewalk chalk art, free face painting and a silent art auction to raise money for art programs in the schools. Artwork for the auction will be provided by participating schools.

“Teachers are working with groups of students to create collaborative art projects,” Wehmiller said.

Finished projects were unveiled at Tuesday night’s school board meeting and then will be on display at businesses throughout the community and on the Celebration of Arts Facebook page.

Individuals wishing to bid on the art will be able to do so at the chamber of commerce’s website. Final bids will be taken during the April event.

“It is important to celebrate art in our schools and our community because art is a very valuable part of our everyday lives,” Wehmiller said. “Art promotes critical thinking and problem-solving. Art is a way of expressing our ideas, thoughts and feelings. Art develops our imagination. Art helps us to enjoy the beauty in everything. Through art, we can discover and explore the past, the present and the future.”

If you go

What: A Celebration of the Arts

When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 25

Where: Shops at Seymour, 357 Tanger Blvd., Suite 315

Cost: Free

How to participate or help

Any individual or organization interested in setting up an art or food booth or performing at the event should contact Mariella Wehmiller at wehmillerm@scsc.k12.in.us.

Organizers also are seeking corporate sponsors to help with expenses for the event. Any local business that would like to support arts in the schools by making a monetary donation also can email Wehmiller.

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January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.