Popular "Third Grade Clay" art show exhibited in Coe galleries

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(319) 399-8605 or rpritcha@coe.edu

2015-02-11 10:08:58 - General

Nearly 1,200 third graders from 21 area elementary schools will display their artwork at Coe College as part of a longtime collaboration between the college and the Cedar Rapids Community School District. The popular "Third Grade Clay" art show runs from Friday, Feb. 27 through Sunday, March 15 in the Marvin Cone and Eaton-Buchan Galleries of Sinclair Auditorium. Regular gallery hours are 4 - 6 p.m. daily, and admission is free.

A reception for the young artists and their families will take place in the Sinclair lobby on Friday, March 13, from 5 - 7 p.m. The public is invited to attend free of charge and refreshments will be served. For more information call 399-8581.

In its 27th year, "Third Grade Clay" provides young artists with the opportunity to show three-dimensional work in a professional environment. Generally, the young artists from each elementary craft an individual piece of clay in conjunction with the theme selected by the school, yielding more than 20 creative displays.

The program was initially organized by Coe Art Professor John Beckelman to give young students an outlet to display their three-dimensional work. While elementary schools typically have lots of wall space to display paintings and drawings, Beckelman says it's more challenging for elementary school art teachers to find places to showcase clay creations. In the mid-1980s, Beckelman and local elementary art instructors began a dialogue about creating a show at Coe, and the third grade level was believed to be ideal for the young artists to display their work. As a result, the "Third Grade Clay" art show was created and has become a community tradition.

Coe Gallery Director and Instructor of Art Jennifer Rogers coordinates the event. Rogers says that thanks to the talented youngsters and their art teachers, "Third Grade Clay" has become one of the most popular art shows held at the college each year.