Kids' Art Show highlights Bay School Children's Programs, Free Week of Art

Each summer the Bay School Community Arts Center hosts a “Kids’ Art Show” featuring artwork made by children in Bay School classes and programs.  This year’s show took place from August 15-22 and highlighted art made in this year’s Free Week of Art, a week-long art camp for local children.  The Free Week actually encompassed three weeks this year, with a class for preschool children, two separate classes for kids aged 6-9, and a class for youth aged 10-14.  More than 100 children were reached through this program this year.  Children who attended the Mathews family YMCA full day camp during this time were also able to attend and experience the art-making process.  The theme of this year’s Free Week was “Up, Up, and Away,” and the gallery is filled with floating hot air balloons, fluttering butterflies, sparkling stars, and shining suns.  Local artists Virginia Coyle and Steph Brown taught full classrooms of up to 30 budding artists with the help of veteran Bay School volunteers and teen counselors from the YMCA.  The Kids’ Art Show also features artwork created during the new Teen Open Studio, this summer’s class Fundamentals of Clay, and during the outreach program at the Mathews Boys & Girls Club.

The Free Week of Art was primarily funded by a generous grant from the Treakle Foundation this year, and supplemented by proceeds from the Bay School booth at the annual Mathews yard sale, private donations, and funds from the Mathews Family YMCA.  The Bay School is grateful for the support shown by the greater Mathews community.  Bay Schools art director Pam Doss and YMCA branch director Sheila Pillath and program director Candice Parker are already planning joint programming for the next year, to include school-time and summer art activities.  The two organizations will partner to provide the box lunches for the 2015 Historic Garden Week Tour as a fundraiser for these community-wide endeavors.  Both non-profits are members of the Mathews Coalition 4 Kids, a group of Mathews organizations that work together to provide cohesive programming for community children and also includes the Mathews Memorial Library, Mathews County 4-H, the Boys & Girls Club of Mathews, and the Mathews Maritime Foundation.

The Bay School is located at 279 Main Street in Mathews, VA, on the beautiful Middle Peninsula of the Chesapeake Bay. The Bay School is a non-profit arts organization partially funded by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. More than 100 studio classes are offered each year and twelve outreach programs bring art into the community to those who cannot attend a traditional art class.  For more information about the Bay School, please call 804-725-1278 or go online to