Llano Fine Arts Guild bridges generation gap with student show

JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF

LLANO — The opportunity for young artists to showcase their works is the reason for the annual student art show hosted by the Llano Fine Arts Guild.

The show, which is free to attend, is April 9-12 and April 16-19 at the guild’s gallery, 503 Bessemer Ave. The gallery is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and noon-4 p.m. Sunday.

One student-artist, Llano High School junior Shali Niemeyer, is entering three nature pieces all made with acrylics.

“I really love the outdoors and drawing,” she said with a smile. “I grew up loving it. My mom (Melissa Niemeyer) says as soon as I could pick up a pencil, I was drawing. She says I’ve been drawing since I was born.”

Her father is Steve Niemeyer.

One artwork, which is an eagle flying above water, took six hours to complete, she said.

Valerie Smasal-Hammons, the guild’s vice president and student art coordinator, said the guild is happy to encourage students and their art, adding that bridging the gap between the two age groups is one goal of the guild.

“It’s evolved into a service,” she said. “The student art show was a way for the kids to have their own show.”

The popularity of the guild’s summer camp for kids, which started in 2013, was another reason for the art show. Guild members realized they needed to add another event to showcase the youths’ talent.

“We discovered there was a need for outreach and to serve our youth,” Smasal-Hammons said.

The vice president noted the guild wants to encourage the next generation of artists.

“It’s a way for us to extend our outreach efforts,” she said. “The kids want mentoring.”

“I think it’s great,” Niemeyer said. “I love the involvement with everyone and how they want to help out.”

Email Smasal-Hammons at valeriesmasal@hotmail.com for more information.

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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