While bikers from across the world were racing up The Wall and zigzagging across Manayunk, Roxborough students were competing in another form – at the ROXART Gallery’s Youth Art Show on Ridge Avenue.
The gallery works in conjunction with the Roxborough Development Corporation and local businesses, aimed at building a stronger community which encourages families to come out to The Ridge.
“The program gives students an opportunity to show off their work in a time when the government is cutting back on funding for programs like this,” says Jo Ann Desper chairperson of its promotions committee. “So, we really want to encourage that they continue and they can shine.”
The program started after the Roxborough Development Corporation sought to bring more families to the Ridge, however, Governor Tom Corbett’s education cuts could threaten future showcases if art and music programs are cut in schools due to funding restraints. The Roxborough community plans to take a stand for its children, however, and is pushing for students to express themselves.
“It has been very successful, and we’re going to continue it,” Desper said with a smile.
Artists of all ages have been showcasing their work at the ROXART Gallery every first Sunday of the month this year, and the program will continue through October.
This past Sunday featured about 100 of the Picasos of tomorrow, from William Levering, Dobson, Holy Child, Roxborough High and Cook-Wissahickon schools. They competed against eachother for gift cards and free art lessons.
The students who didn’t win didn’t go home empty-handed. All of the artwork could be purchased, and some students earned money for their work.
“Art makes people feel very good. It’s very important and I was amazed by the number of people who turned up,” says Bernard Guet, the executive director of the Roxborough Development Corporation.
The next show will feature the work of adult artists and falls on July 4, which coincides with The Ridge’s neighborhood parade.