Youth Art show at Art Center features work from PAUSD students

Teddy Huang, Author

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The Youth Art exhibition is currently on display at the Palo Alto Art Center near the Rinconada Library. Each year, artwork from K-12 students across the Palo Alto Unified School District is featured in the Youth Art exhibition. “The Youth Art show has been hung at the Palo Alto Art Center for probably 25 years,” Palo Alto High School art teacher Kate McKenzie said. “I have worked for the district for 15 years and I have had students’ work in the show most of these years.” Photo: Teddy Huang

The Youth Art display returns to the Palo Alto Art Center this year, featuring a wide range of artwork from Palo Alto High School students, among others.

The Youth Art exhibition contains 400 pieces of artwork of various media created by elementary to high school students. The artwork featured in the exhibition was created by students from schools across the Palo Alto Unified School District.

Paly art teacher Kate McKenzie, who has her students’ art featured in the show, says Paly has participated in the event for at least 15 years.

McKenzie says she has noticed a change in the art in recent years.

“I would say that the work has probably gotten more sophisticated,” McKenzie said. “With the rise of digital art, we now have quite a few students who do pursue art professionally, and so are quite serious.”

In addition, copyright issues have been highlighted with the rise of digital art, according to McKenzie.

Because students create more pieces than the show can feature, teachers must choose which artwork will displayed.

“I look for originality, creativity, technical skill and sometimes, just because a work fits in with other pieces,” McKenzie said. “Likewise, sometimes a work will not fit in. There are all sorts of competitions that my upper division students enter in the spring, and so many of the most interesting or accomplished pieces are not available.”

In addition to the Youth Art show, the Cultural Kaleidoscope is on display at the Palo Alto Art Center. Unlike the Youth Art show, the art featured in the Cultural Kaleidoscope is created by K-5 students from PAUSD and Ravenswood City School District, which includes the cities of East Palo Alto and Menlo Park.

A collection of photos from the Youth Art Show and Cultural Kaleidoscope is featured below.

Youth Art Show