Art Trail event will showcase the artwork of 19 schools

  • Fifth-grade art students Chayson Eich, left, and Brennon Sturgill work on a canvas at Norris Elementary School in preparation for the April Anderson County Art Trail event in downtown Clinton.

  • Norris Elementary School art student Brennen King works on a painting for the Anderson County Art Trail event in April.

Original artwork created by students in 19 Anderson County schools will be on display in the windows of shops in downtown Clinton during the first Anderson County Art Trail event to be held in April.

The art will be hung up in the store windows on April 7, and “will be on display for a week,” said coordinator Alison Greenhouse, the art teacher at Norris and Fairview elementary schools.

“Also in the works is a street festival on April 10 that the downtown merchants are getting together for this event,” she said.

The art will be provided by students from kindergarten through 12th grade. Each school also will contribute a “collaborative” piece of art sized three-by-three feet that will represent the work of all the art students in the school, Greenhouse said.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the usual spring school art show won’t take place this year, and the Art Trail event will replace it, she said.

“Normally, the schools have a countywide art show every April,” Greenhouse said. “It’s a two-day event held at The Kincaid House, and it usually draws over 1,000 people.

“This year, with the COVID restrictions, we had to look for an alternate way to display the students’ artwork. One of the art teachers said, ‘I wish we could have it on display like somewhere in a window.’ That started this idea of getting together with the Market Street shop owners to see if they would display the work.”

Greenhouse said the art teachers “reached out to the [Anderson County] Chamber of Commerce” for help in getting in touch with the downtown merchants.

“That’s how the idea was formulated,” she said. “We have 10 shops that will be hosting student artwork. And we’ve decided to have each school make one really big collaborative artwork.

“A really great big event is coming together, and we will send information home to the parents to show where each piece of artwork is displayed,” she said. “It’s a big win for the art students and shop owners.”

And that’s not all, Greenhouse added.

“Each piece of art will have a price tag on it and will be for sale.”

Sixteen Anderson County Schools and the three Clinton elementary schools will participate, and the downtown merchants are looking forward to hosting the event, said Katherine Birkbeck, owner of the Spindle Tree on Market Street.

The downtown festival will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 10, and will include performances on Market Street by the Clinton High School Jazz Band, the CHS chorus, and Dream Dance Studios on Market, Birkbeck said.

“People are just dying to perform for somebody,” she said. “We’re glad to be giving them the opportunity to do that.

“We are going to kick off that morning with a 5K Color Run,” she said. “Money raised will go directly to the school art departments. There also will be a fashion show, and we’re still working on some other things.

“There will be food trucks and art projects, and we think it will be a really fun community event,” Birkbeck said.