If you had the privilege of attending the annual art show at Estherville Lincoln Central Wednesday, you would have seen 95-100 young artists displaying their works, ranging from drawings to painting, ceramics to mixed media.
It was the culmination of a year's work for the students under instructor Dan Hewitt who in his eight years at ELC has continued the storied tradition that ELC has for cultivating artistic talent.
The importance of art in the schools has never been greater. Hewitt observed that many of his art students go on to careers in the graphic arts. One student, Taylar Jacobson, went on to study art at Iowa State University and now works as a graphic designer specialist for the Minnesota Vikings.
Having a strong arts program also gives graduates an appreciation of fine art. When they see good art, they know it. So when they travel to art museums around the country or even the world, they're able to converse with people about what makes a work of art great.
Understanding art also increases the depth of one's own humanity. When we understand how to express ourselves through painting, drawing, writing, dance or music, we're able to ascend to another dimension, tap into a vast subconsciousness that is the same well of inspiration for artists from when humankind drew the first pictures on cave walls.
And for some students, art may be the only outlet for their talent. Not all students are natural athletes or scholars. But when it comes to expressing themselves through art, they may be geniuses in their own right. And if for no other reason, we need to maintain strong art programs in our schools to serve those very students.
So let's all continue to support the fine arts at all levels in our schools and colleges. And when you're asked to contribute to fine arts programs, whether it's through a contribution to the Fine Arts Boosters, buying a banquet ticket or donating toward a silent auction or raffle, please be as generous as you can.
Because you never know when the next great artist will emerge - and they may even be from Estherville.