Ashton Hobbie was confronted with a sea of color as he looked at a wall of artwork by students at Graham A. Barden Elementary in Havelock.


Ashton Hobbie was confronted with a sea of color as he looked at a wall of artwork by students at Graham A. Barden Elementary in Havelock.



Thursday night was the opening of the long anticipated school-wide art show.



The second-grader had contributed a picture of a helicopter picking up a car.



“It’s got orange, red, green, pink, blue, purple and gray,” the 8-year-old said.



The picture had taken him one day to draw. He said it was easy because he likes art class.



“You can do art because it’s fun,” Hobbie said.



There are 358 students in the school and every one of them made a contribution to the show.



“Every student has at least one piece in the show,” said art teacher Kate Radcliff, who is in her first full year as an art teacher after graduating from East Carolina University.



Debra Bell, a teacher’s assistant at the school, said she enjoyed the show.



“It’s very nice that she has artwork displayed from every single student in the school,” she said. “I think that’s awesome. And she has so many diversities. Everything’s not the same. She’s got weavings, paintings and pottery.”



Principal Marilyn Brown expressed pride in the students.



“This is really a great achievement for Graham Barden and our students,” she said. “Art is just as important as some of the other subjects. Where some students may not be recognized in the other talents and abilities, this way she is being showcased for her outstanding artwork.”



The show included realistic and abstract works as well as three dimensional works. It included artwork from different cultures, such as Mexico, Japan, China and Russia.



“Things that are integrated with the curriculum they’ve been learning in their classrooms,” Radcliff said.



The Pamlico County native said that art plays an important role in a school curriculum.



“I feel it’s very important because it causes them to use problem-solving skills, creativity, to think about things that they would normally not think about,” Radcliff said. “It integrates other subjects so it helps reinforce things they learn in their classrooms. Kids that may not excel in math or science or social studies or sports can excel in art. Some kids learn better visually than they do in other ways.”



Ryan Schroeder, a parent who came by to see son Trevor’s work, said he hoped the art program stays alive and well.



“You can let your imagination go free,” said Schroeder. “It helps you exercise your mind a little bit and think outside the box and just be creative and think of different things like different inventions. It can make that child use that part of the brain more and invent some different things.”