Youth in the area are provided with a wide range of activities to explore, with participation in sports often getting the spotlight. While winning games is exciting, another area of enrichment lies in engaging with one’s creative side. Luckily for youth in Van Alstyne, creative outlets come in no small supply.

“My goal at the elementary level it to give the kids a solid introduction to art and design, including famous artist, art techniques and building skills,” said Van Alstyne Elementary School art teacher Andrea Bigham on her approach to teaching art to her young students.

Bingham is currently in the works of developing a program that will expand each year with the goal of inspiring students to continue in various artistic fields.

“The elementary age is such a great age to introduce the arts. They are so excited about it and eager to participate. They inspire me as much as I hope I inspire them,” Bingham said about her students.

Van Alstyne Middle School art teacher Jordan Clough teaches 6th, 7th and 8th grade students at VAMS, while Kristi Servati teaches the 5th graders.

“Here at the middle school we like for each project to have an artist focus and teach art elements and principles,” said Clough. “Our projects have guidelines but also allow for individual interpretation from the student. I love seeing how students put their own spin on a project and use materials in new ways.”

As an elective teacher, Clough also has the unique opportunity to see student confidence mature from year to year as their abilities strengthen. The VAMS students will be holding their second annual art show in the spring at at a date that is yet to be determined.

“We would love for the community to come out and support the art students at VAMS,” said Clough.

VAMS student work can be viewed through the school’s social media accounts. They can be accessed at VAMS art on Facebook or at the school art blog

Last, but certainly not least, not all talented young Van Alstyne artists attend VAISD schools. Home-schooled student Sara Shannon, aged ten, showed a photo submission of her painting that proved artists come from all walks of life and in all shapes and sizes.

No matter the medium, subject or style, it is important for kids to keep creating —something that Van Alstyne youth seem to have no problem with.