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Glen Jean, West Virginia, March 26, 2013 - Flowers are blooming and spring is in the air. Check out how local students celebrate the glories of springtime in Appalachia through art at the Youth Arts in the Parks 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, clay, paper, and more.
The creativity and artistic talents of the student participants yielded amazing works inspired by wildflowers of southern West Virginia. Three-hundred twenty-nine students from 20 schools participated in this year's contest. The top 55 juried pieces are showcased at Tamarack in Beckley from April 1st - 29th. The top five contest pieces will be featured in Tamarack's David L. Dickirson Fine Art Gallery, for public sale alongside adult artists in the Color Wheel art show, while the works of the other 50 featured youth artists will be on exhibit in the vestibules that lead to Tamarack's center courtyard. Tamarack is open daily from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. The on-line version of this youth arts exhibit opens April 2 at www.nps.gov/neri.
Community members and visitors are all invited to visit Tamarack to see how nature in Appalachia inspires our youth. Don't let your explorations stop there, as this youth art exhibit is part to New River Gorge Wildflower Weekend, an annual event held in mid to late April. This event celebrates spring in Appalachia and the diverse ecology of our local region, a public lands partnership between New River Gorge National River, Babcock State Park, Hawks Nest State Park, Little Beaver State Park, Pipestem Resort State Park, Tamarack, and The Clay Center. This year's public nature program series will be held Friday, April 19th through Sunday, April 21st, with an early-bird program at the Clay Center on April 10th. For the complete program schedule for this event or for more information about these sites, visit www.nps.gov/neri, www.wvstateparks.com, www.tamarackwv.com, www.theclaycenter.org, or Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/newrivergorgenps. Better yet, stop by any of these sites for a visit and celebrate the wonders of springtime in Appalachia!