GRC junior starts project to display student artwork

Published 12:43 pm Friday, December 9, 2016

Art student Emma Mitmesser, a 16-year-old junior at George Rogers Clark, says she wants to see student artists in Clark County get the credit they deserve for their creations.

Much like parents proudly display their child’s artwork on their refrigerator, Emma would like to see the community display students’ artwork.

That’s why she started Art With Heart, a project aimed at connecting members of the community with Clark County’s student artists.

Emma is a student in GRC’s Fine Arts Cohort and volunteers for local art camps for elementary students. It was seeing the art created in these camps that inspired her project.

“Students in the schools so have much potential that’s not being seen,” Mitmesser said. “They put so much heart and passion into it and often it’s just left at school.

“I see so much great art from these young students and I often hear them say that no one will every really see it. It’s as if they feel like their work isn’t appreciated.”

With the help of her mom, Susan Mitmesser, a retired teacher, Emma set out to coordinate with art teachers to collect pieces with hopes of displaying them at local venues. She recently partnered with the Kiwanis Club of Winchester and received a donation toward her project.

Emma’s project was the theme of Kiwanis’ float in the annual Christmas parade. The float incorporated students artwork and won first place in the parade.

She said the project will consist of collecting about 70 pieces of art from elementary, middle and high school students.

“It can be anything they make in class or at home, three-dimensional or two-dimensional,” she said. “I would also like to display some projects from the Innovations class at Campbell Junior High School. Those are inventions made by students.”

The first collection will be displayed at East Kentucky Power Cooperative in January.

Other organizations that have expressed an early interest in partnering on the program include Kentucky Bank, the Clark County Homeless Coalition and the James B. Allen Generations Center. Emma also plans to present her project to Clark Regional Medical Center and Rose Mary C. Brooks Place.

Mitmesser said her goal is to find 10 to 12 host organizations, but she hopes that there are even more interested.

The art will remain on display for a month.

Mitmesser said she plans on having a theme for the art displays every month that she can plan with art teachers at the schools in the district.

When a display is taken down at the end of a month, Mitmesser said she would like to have partnerships in place with health care facilities, retirement communities and other organizations so that the artwork can be given to people who may be in need of a pick-me-up.

“It may brighten up someone’s day to get a piece of art made by a student,” she said.

She is also planning to help mentor younger students from the elementary schools who are interested in making art outside of their classes at school.

Emma said art is inspiring and she would like to see it become more of a part of people’s lives in Clark County.

“This project is way for people to be exposed to art in their every day life,” she said. “While they’re running errands or at the bank, they will be able to see these great pieces. I hope it will be inspiring, healing and bring some happiness to others.”

Businesses or organizations interested in partnering for Art with Heart can contact Emma at ccartwithheart@gmail.com.