Art on display from the Boys and Girls Club of the Coastal Plain. 

As part of a new initiative to nourish creativity in young artists, the Boys and Girls Club of the Coastal Plain will host its first annual art show at City Art Gallery in Greenville this Thursday at 7 p.m.

The show will serve as the opening to an exhibition of artwork submitted by the youth who attend the club, lasting from Thursday until Saturday.

A panel of three judges, comprised of local artists, will evaluate the submitted artwork and select a winner to represent the Boys and Girls Club in a regional competition.

Torrey Stroud, the owner of City Art Gallery, is also a supporter of the Boys and Girls Club who has established a fund to supply young art students. She commented on how the exposure from the art show could inspire young artists to pursue their craft.

“I think it would give the youth a lot of exposure. Seeing your artwork on the walls of a professional gallery would be very motivating and the winners will compete on a larger platform,” Stroud said.

According to Stroud, the exhibition will also be the first time that students’ artwork has ever been shown in the gallery.

The art show will serve as part of a new initiative by the Boys and Girls Club to help their members develop an appreciation for the fine arts, including music and drama.

Kimberly Boyd, president and CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of the Coastal Plain, commented on the importance of the arts in youth development.

“It’s about helping young people find their voice. Our local arts community has really embraced it,” Boyd said.

Boyd also spoke on how the students have responded to the opportunity for exposure that the art show presents.

“The opportunity to see their artwork hanging in a real art gallery is something that brings them great pride and their families are excited about the opportunity. We’re hoping to send the message that with hard work and discipline, that they can accomplish anything,” Boyd said.

According to Boyd, there are already potential plans for the show to be expanded beyond Pitt County to clubs in Onslow and Lenoir Counties, beginning next year.

With such attention being given to exposing the local youth to the arts, the art community has responded positively to the idea of an art show as well as encouraging young artists to grow their craft and find a place to nurture their creative talent.

Ben Knight, a local artist who will serve on the panel for the art show, and a member of the Boys and Girls’ Club board, explained why it’s important for creative people to find kindred spirits to share their work with.

“I think it’s really important to find a place or group of people to have as a community. People are really just open to helping, and to be a young, aspiring artist today, there’s a world available to you,” Knight said.

Knight also spoke on his experience of being an advocate for the arts in the local community and the impact that the Boys and Girls’ Club have had on its members.

“It’s really educational as far as what the organization does and the lives it impacts. It’s been fun getting to know different kids and seeing people in the community. It’s been a joy,” Knight said.

For more information on the Boys and Girls Club of the Coastal Plain, visit the webpage

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