The All School Exhibition in 2017. (Photo: Springfield Art Museum)

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In celebration of Youth Art Month, the Springfield Art Museum is hosting the highly anticipated annual All School Exhibition when Springfield student artists get to display their work.

The event welcomes kindergarten through twelfth-grade artists to show off their talent someplace other than school hallways. The Springfield Art Museum’s longest-running exhibition highlights the importance of arts education and the achievements of young artists in the community.

The museum has been displaying student art in some fashion since 1932. After a two-year break due to the stay-at-home order in 2020 and a virtual exhibit in 2021, the All School Exhibition will have its first in-person event since 2019.

The showcase is divided into three sections — elementary, middle school and high school.

The exhibition opens this Friday, March 4 at 5:50 p.m. and will be up until April 24 in the Weisel and Kelly Galleries at the Springfield Art Museum. There’s going to be an opening reception in celebration of the young artists — the middle/high school reception will take place on March 4 from 5:30-7 p.m. and the elementary reception will occur on March 6, from 2-4 p.m.

The All School Exhibition is one of the art museum’s most-loved showcases. The typical attendance for a three-month (pre-pandemic) exhibition is 15,000 people. The two-month-long All School Exhibition brings in 14,000 people, which is a nice attendance spike according to Museum Affairs Officer Joshua Best.

“The donation box always goes up during these months as well, due to the generosity of visitors to the exhibition,” Best said.

The one-piece-per-student exhibit typically features over 400 works of art. However, some of the artwork is class projects that feature many student artists.

Faculty members of Springfield Public Schools, private schools and homeschool cooperatives in the Springfield area decide who’s work will be shown and the piece itself. A dedicated team of teachers and students from SPS installs the art in the galleries.

The art museum provides the venue, exhibition support, the in-gallery text, mounts, pedestals, materials and marketing. It’s free to attend the event — support for the exhibit was provided by Howard C. and Nadia T Cavner.

The Springfield Art Museum wants to honor the art teachers who work with these students as well. Many of the incredibly talented art teachers in Springfield are practicing artists themselves, and the showcase is an outlet for educators to show off their talented students.

Higher education students will get their time to shine following the All School Exhibition. Master of Fine Arts candidates from Missouri State will present their works of art in the MFA Student Showcase on May 6-22.

Gianna Kelley

Gianna Kelley is an intern for the Hauxeda. She is a student at Missouri State University majoring in journalism and minoring in film studies. Kelley has worked for MSU's student newspaper, The Standard, for two years as a columnist. More by Gianna Kelley