A young student pointing at his artwork

This year, the Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) All-County Elementary Fine Arts Festival celebrated its 53rd anniversary. The event showcased 4,410 art pieces, each a testament to the creativity of elementary students across the division.

“We hold these arts festivals to give our students the opportunity to experience what a professional art exhibit is like, where the artwork is juried, and where the public is invited to come and celebrate their talents, dedication, and hard work,” said Jasmine Hawkins, administrative coordinator for the arts in PWCS.

Lillian, a student at Kyle Wilson Elementary School, shared how much she enjoyed showing off her artwork to the public. “It feels great because other people look at it too,” she said. “Art makes me happy because I can just create whatever I want.”

Another student, Noah, from Buckland Mills Elementary School, had two pieces of art on display. “I feel proud that my art is here at the festival. It’s cool because it’s open to the community.”

The festival was packed with art lovers, parents, and community members throughout the day. The experience is one that Hawkins said she hopes has a lasting impact on the young artists.

“The visual arts are a very individual process where you are expressing yourself and sharing a story through your work. An exhibition like this is an opportunity to share that story with our global community,” she said. “I think it’s really important for students to see how speaking about art and writing about it is just as important as making it. Sharing it with the public is what really makes it special.”

“Art is beauty,” added Noah. “That’s what I like about art.”

There are two additional opportunities to appreciate student artwork at the All-County Arts Festival. The festival for middle school students is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 13. The high school festival, which also includes nontraditional schools, will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 27. These events, which are open to the public and free of charge, will be held at the Kelly Leadership Center, located at 14715 Bristow Road, Manassas, VA 20112.

Watch this video to see some of the amazing artwork!