Exceptional Student Education Students showcase Art

two rows of masks hang at art display

Zachary Thompson, an art teacher in Pinellas County, works with Exceptional Student Education Students who often are not provided with many opportunities to showcase their art.

Zachary Thompson, Art Teacher at Richard L. Sanders School

Thompson, who is currently taking a recertification course at SPC in the College of Education, shared with one of his professors, Dr. Cher Gauweiler, about a unique project in which he participated. The project, which was in collaboration with Pinellas County Schools, provided ESE students an opportunity to showcase their work at a Pinellas County School Board ArtsXChange Gallery show.

The Warehouse Arts District Association was excited to announce the exhibition in March, which was created by students with disabilities attending Pinellas County Schools. The artists chosen and represented in this exhibit attend one of the four Exceptional Student Education (ESE) center schools in Pinellas County: Calvin A. Hunsinger School, Nina Harris ESE School, Paul B. Stephens ESE Center, and Richard L. Sanders School.

Gauweiler loved the creativity and display of the students’ talents in the video. She even showed the video to her four-year old, Nyla, who said, “That art is beautiful!”

Through personal investigation and reflection, each work of art creates a statement about how the artist is seen in various communities that relate to family, peers and social networking. Emotions are stirred by each student’s contribution.

Art speaks in all languages. What we might not be able to say, we can create with pen, paint or paper. Please take a few minutes to watch this video, which displays the artwork. It captures the hearts, talents and abilities we would never know of if these students were not given the chance to shine.

“I’m very proud of what the students have been able to achieve with proper direction,” Thompson said. “The more that people find out about what the four Pinellas County Schools ESE Centers are doing with art curriculum, the better.”

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