The Arts Council of Livingston Parish will present its summer art show, “Abstracts,” beginning in May, council President Mary Felder said.

“I thought it would be fun to try something different,” Felder said of requesting abstract pieces from area artists she knew produced abstract works, and eight artists responded with submissions.

Those eight will be available at an opening reception from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 14, Felder said.

Their work will hang along with entries from younger artists.

The Arts Council makes a concerted effort to include all ages and skill levels in the educational arm of its programming, which is how Felder came to judge an art show for students at Lewis Vincent Elementary in Denham Springs.

The school participates in a program called Gumbo Art, part of the council’s Art in Education, a grant-funded initiative that began in 2011, Felder said, to provide arts education in schools that don’t have it as part of the curriculum.

“We wanted to do two things with (Art in Education),” Felder said. “One, promote emerging and established artists in our area, and two, create art experiences for children.”

One of the program’s major achievements is a summer arts program at Walker Community Center, Felder said, that includes both visual and performing arts for children.

Gumbo Art brings art lessons directly to students at Lewis Vincent, she said, with the help of volunteer art teachers and supplies purchased with grant funding.

Lewis Vincent students invited parents and community members to its first art show April 21 at the school, said Liz Harman, an artist and parent of a Lewis Vincent student who also participates in the Art in Education program.

“Grant funding is winding down, so in addition to showcasing our students’ work, we are raising money to help keep the art classes going,” Harman said.

“I noticed that the students had several works that were in the abstract style,” Felder said, so she asked Harman,to choose some pieces to be included in the “Abstracts” show. Those young art students also will be invited to the opening to talk about their work and meet patrons.

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