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VSA exhibit 1 for the web

Dianna Winstead, associate director of arts, culture, and event at The Center, hangs one of the pieces of artwork in VSA Kentucky's "Side by Side" exhibit.

Several weeks ago, art teacher Darlene Libbey began working with six young students to produce artwork for an upcoming exhibit at The Center for Rural Development.

During that time, Libbey—an assistant professor of arts at Somerset Community College—helped guide the students as they explored various artistic mediums, including collage-making and acrylic painting. The student artists were later paired with local professional artists to work alongside one another on a collaborative project.

The individual artwork created by these six young artists in class and the collaborative pieces produced together with professional artists are now featured in VSA Kentucky’s “Side by Side” exhibit on display in the visual arts gallery in the front lobby of The Center in Somerset.

The exhibit is presented by VSA Kentucky, a statewide, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the arts, in partnership with The Center and Somerset Community College (SCC).

 “The Center is excited to partner once again with VSA Kentucky and SCC to host the Side by Side exhibit and showcase the amazing talents of these young creative student artists,” Dianna Winstead, associate director of arts, culture, and events for The Center, said. “The exhibit is arranged in small groupings or sets of three, including the individual student-produced artwork, the collaborative piece created side by side with the professional artist, and the professional artist’s own selected piece of art.”

The public will have an opportunity to meet the student artists and collaborating artists who worked on the “Side by Side” exhibit at a reception on Sunday, April 10, beginning at 2 p.m., in the front lobby of The Center.

“It is always a very rewarding and enjoyable experience,” Libbey said of the project. “Each time, the local artists find the experience of working with these young artists to be refreshing and fun.”

Besides Libbey, other artists participating in the program included Peggy Sherry, Sue Burkett, Movita Michael, Melissa Schutz, and Dave Cazalet. Cazalet, director of grants at SCC, served as coordinator of the 2011 Side by Side project.

The exhibit, which will remain on display through May 31, may be viewed at The Center during normal business hours from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and during extended evening and weekend hours when the front lobby is open for special events. Some of the artwork will be available for sale.

VSA Kentucky provides art education and inclusion programs for children and adults with disabilities throughout the state and offers an underserved population equal opportunity and full access to explore the arts. Headquartered in Bowling Green, VSA Kentucky conducts programs and services in all six Kentucky congressional districts.

For more information about the exhibit and other upcoming events at The Center, visit or call 606-677-6000.