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Kathy Dargin said that everyone in her family, from grandparents to aunts and uncles, came to Wednesday night's art exhibit to see her daughter Brianna's artwork on display at Nashua High School North. (BENJAMIN C. KLEIN PHOTO)

A youthful exhibit in Nashua

NASHUA -- More than a hundred parents of students from around the district crowded into the lobby of Nashua High School North to see their children's artwork on display as part of Youth Art Month.

Rodney Coffin, an art teacher at North, said the district has been putting up exhibits as part of Youth Art Month for almost 30 years. He added that this year's attendance for the public exhibit, which was Wednesday night, "was better than usual."

Coffin said each art teacher in the district from grades one through 12 is tasked with identifying 20 pieces of art they feel are worthy of being exhibited at North, and that for all of March and some of April the artwork is on display.

For many children, the public exhibit was a complete family affair, with aunts and uncles and grandparents accompanying parents to see the their artwork on display.

Kimberly Koluw said she came to see the art of her nephew Conner Giroux, and added she was struck by the quality of not only his work but of all the students' work.

"The art they picked to display is great, and it is amazing to think that some of it is done by kids as young as first grade," Koluw said.

Giroux said he felt awesome when he found out his art was picked and added it encouraged him to keep drawing.

Kathy Dargin said she brought along her daughter Brianna's entire family - grandparents and aunts and uncles included - to see her art on display.

Dargin said this is the second time Brianna, 10, has had her art chosen and that it is nice her art is where everyone can see.

Hue and Beth McLellan came to see the work their son Sam, 11. Beth said it was nice to see the school showcasing the arts program during a time when many art programs around the state are being cut.

Parent Heather Scalera said the exhibit was a great way to showcase student achievements. Her daughter, Megan, said it was "really cool" to have her work chosen because "I know a lot of people are going to see it."

Beatrice Batista said it was good to see the school find ways to encourage students, like her son Matthew, an 8-year-old who also had his work chosen.

Coffin added that the performance of a student chorus might also be part of why so many parents were in attendance this year.

Brian and Jean Tonasetti came out to hear their daughter Emma, a Charlotte Avenue Elementary School student, sing with the chorus.

"Everything is beautiful. The artwork is amazing, and some of the sketches were just phenomenal," Jean Tonasetti said.


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