View student visual art works in the Indiana Mall May 1-6.
Trish Dodson works as an art teacher at multiple schools in Indiana County. She has been involved in the Youth Arts
Celebration since its inception, and like many other art teachers in Indiana school districts, she will be featuring much of her students’ artwork in this year’s event. However, her role as an art educator is slightly different from others. For 13 years she has been giving art lessons to students with special needs, instructing courses in life skills classes at various schools in the area.
Trish believes that art has benefits for many students. When asked what she thought the arts could do for youth and adults with special needs, she stated that, “[Art] provides a voice for a lot of students who don’t necessarily excel academically. It’s a form of expression. There are a lot of kids out there who don’t know how to get their feelings out.” She believes that art is extremely beneficial for the emotional well being of her students, especially for students with special needs. For many of her students, art becomes a constructive outlet for anxiety, aggression, frustration, or other
difficult emotions that they cannot express in their day-to-day interactions. Art is also a source of enjoyment for her students, having a strong calming effect that work in other academic courses cannot create.
Trish says that having the opportunity to display their work publicly at the Youth Arts Celebration does wonders for her students’ sense of confidence and self esteem. The exhibit gives students’ families a chance to show support and encouragement for them and their accomplishments as well, an opportunity that sometimes does not arise often for students with special needs and disabilities.
The 2012 Youth Arts Celebration will begin on Tuesday, May 1st with the opening of the visual arts exhibit at the Indiana Mall. The exhibit will feature work by Trish Dodson’s students from around Indiana County, among hundreds of other pieces made by countless other students of varying ages. Come see some of the amazing work being done by the youth in Indiana County this year at the Youth Arts Celebration!
For more information on YAC, check out our Program page.