Selbyville paints the town for Kids Art Month festivities

Local students are transforming Selbyville with a town-wide art exhibition, honoring Kids Art Month.

For the eighth year, Selbyville Community Club will display children’s art at the Selbyville Public Library in a month-long celebration. Kids Art Month is observed nationwide, but the Selbyville group is particularly proud of its local event.

“Every year we can’t believe how the talent increases, and the schools just do fabulous things with teaching the children,” said Jackie Bates of the Selbyville Community Club.

All students from the 19975 ZIP code are invited to participate, which includes homeschooled students, Indian River High School, Phillip C. Showell Elementary School, Selbyville Middle School and Southern Delaware School of the Arts.

“Students who participate in the arts develop self-confidence, self-discipline and come to understand what it means to make multiple revisions to achieve high standards,” reads the community club’s Yearly Report for 2012. “The arts can bring joy to learning and make school a vibrant place.”

What began as a “coloring contest,” Bates said, has blossomed into an art show of many media. Now, prizes are awarded, and the community club works closely with schools to promote the art show. The event is so popular because the club recognizes the importance of the arts, and the children enjoy a chance to make art and be recognized, she added.

Kids Art Month brings multiple generations together, Bates noted. Children, parents, grandparents and friends mingle in the library halls to celebrate art.

“It’s been a wonderful family event,” she said.

Selbyville Mayor Clifton Murray marveled at the children’s skill when he proclaimed March 2012 as Art Month for Selbyville youth.

“It’s amazing some of the stuff you see,” Murray said.

The Selbyville Public Library will host the award ceremony Saturday, March 10, from 2 to 4 p.m. Murray and the Selbyville Community Club will present prizes and participation awards around 2:15 p.m.

Bates said the hundreds of dollars’ worth of prizes are distributed as widely as possible, so many children will earn accolades for their art. Three judges – each artists in their own right – will review the artwork and name winners for various age groups.

The Selbyville Community Club and Bates expressed gratitude to the Town, many businesses, and individuals who help to sponsor the event.

“The whole town had been very supportive,” Bates said. “A lot of nice, local patrons … recognize that art is an outlet for kids. So many things are dictated in the classroom. This gives them the chance to think and create and be spontaneous.”

After the main library show, the artwork will be displayed in local businesses and in front window displays throughout Selbyville for the month of March.