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Contact: Jodi French-Burr, 304-465-2632Glen Jean, West Virginia —Flowers are blooming and spring is in the air. See how local students celebrate the glories of springtime in Appalachia through art at the Youth Arts in the Parks 2016 Appalachian Spring Wildflower Art Exhibit at Tamarack throughout April. In partnership with Tamarack and the school systems of Fayette, Nicholas, Raleigh, and Summers counties, New River Gorge National River sponsored an art contest for area students in grades K –12. Students learned about the region's wildflowers and Appalachian ecology while they created art using watercolors, oil pastels, pencils, paper, and more.
The creativity and artistic talents of student participants yielded amazing works inspired by wildflowers of southern West Virginia. Four-hundred seventy-four students from area public and private schools, homeschools, and private individuals participated in this year's contest. The top 54 juried pieces are showcased at Tamarack in Beckley from April 1st –28th. The top five contest pieces are featured in Tamarack's David L. Dickirson Fine Art Gallery and are for public sale alongside adult artists in the Narrations: Stories in Art spring art show. The works of the other 49 featured youth artists are on exhibit in the theater lobby of the Hulett C. Smith Theater at Tamarack. Tamarack is open daily from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. See the online version of this exhibit at www.nps.gov/neri soon.
Community members and visitors are all invited to visit Tamarack to see how nature in central Appalachia inspires our youth. But don't let your explorations stop there, as this special exhibit is part of New River Gorge Wildflower Weekend, a free public program event scheduled for Friday, April 22nd through Sunday, April 24th, 2016. This fun, free event celebrates spring in Appalachia and the diverse ecology of our local region. This event is a public lands partnership between New River Gorge National River, the West Virginia State Parks of Babcock, Carnifex Ferry Battlefield, Pipestem Resort and Twin Falls Resort, Tamarack, and West Virginia Division of Environmental Protection. The complete event program schedule is available at www.nps.gov/neri, www.wvstateparks.com, www.tamarackwv.com, or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/newrivergorgenps. Better yet, stop by any of these sites for a visit and celebrate the wonders of springtime in Appalachia!