Charles Henderson Child Health Center Houses TroyFest Student Art Exhibit  

Published 8:44 am Wednesday, July 5, 2023

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By Jessica Pollack

Patients visiting Charles Henderson Child Health Center, a local pediatric clinic, are getting more than just an office visit this month.

Until July 30th, the specialty clinic waiting area walls, located on the first floor of the building, are displaying winners from the 2023 TroyFest Student Art Show.

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“We have recently collaborated with the Johnson Center for the Arts to help promote the benefits of art throughout Pike County,” said Dr. Benton Busbee, administrator at Charles Henderson Child Health Center.

An interest in providing art to the community began 5 years ago as a free, small test program at the Child Health Center, which offered children and their parents or guardians an opportunity to interact using common, simple projects. This program, known as Art Expression Sessions, has evolved into a therapeutic program for all ages.

“In April we displayed our Expression Session projects at the Johnson Center during TroyFest. We have since teamed with the Johnson Center to display all the first place and best in show winners from the festival competition,” said Busbee.

The current exhibit being borrowed by the Child Health Center intends to extend opportunities for students to share their artwork and highlight the support that the pediatric clinic gives to student artists throughout the year at Art Expression Sessions.

Busbee states that Art Expression Sessions aides children in building confidence, developing teamwork and problem-solving skills in a nonthreatening, noncompetitive environment.

“The Charles Henderson Child Health Center has long been an advocate for all aspects of a child’s wellness and the Johnson Center for the Arts supports them in their goal to make artistic expression a regular part of every child’s life,” said Andrea Pack, director of the Johnson Center for the Arts.

According to Pack, this exhibit is unique because it represents some of the best work from the TroyFest Student Art Show and is displayed in a space where many children and their parents see it daily.

Pack’s hope is that by seeing pieces by other young artists, it will inspire children to create something on their own or attend Art Expression Sessions, while also inspiring parents to go frame and display their child’s artwork at home.

Displayed in the exhibit are the Jean Lake Scholarship recipients. Scholarships are given in amounts of $1000 and $500 to a senior and junior high school student from Pike County who have shown aptitude in visual arts. The scholarship is open for application once per year and is sponsored by the Troy Arts Council during TroyFest.

Pam Smith, director of the TroyFest Student Arts Show, explained that there are pieces from across Pike County, including from local schools and homeschooling programs.

Categories in the exhibit include drawing, mixed media art, painting, photography, and sculpture.

The TroyFest Student Art Exhibit at Charles Henderson Child Health Center is open to the public Monday through Friday, 8AM to 5PM.