Students in Douglas County elementary through high school grades have produced art that has a prevention message, and organizers of the Prevention and Education Program at Adapt in Roseburg were amazed at some of the creations that the kids came up with.
Cati Strempel, the prevention program director for Adapt, a drug and alcohol rehab facility in Roseburg, said students were given the opportunity to use creative artistic expression to come up with art that raised awareness about important issues that impact the community. The only requirement was that the message had to be about prevention.
All of the art will be displayed at the seventh annual Art of Prevention Art Contest and Art Show on Friday evening April 27 at the Winston Community Center.
The art depicted a wide range of social problems like bullying, domestic violence, gambling, drugs, alcohol, and smoking addictions.
“It’s open to any kind of art as long as it’s portable and can be displayed, and has a prevention message,” Strempel said. “We prefer positive and we like it to be friendly for all ages, but the kids have some very powerful things to talk about so we understand that it can’t always be positive.”
The art is judged with half the score on the message and the other half on creativity. There are three levels including elementary, middle school and high school, and then subject categories, so there are a lot of opportunities to for the students to win.
Strempel said in middle school, many of the students wanted to talk about suicide and how they’ve been personally impacted. But she noticed there were not a lot of entries talking about drugs and alcohol and that was concerning.
“It makes my heart a little sad because student wellness surveys indicate that our eighth-graders are really some of the highest use rates in the state for a lot of those substances,” Strempel said. “I think we want to dig into that a little more and find out the reason.”
Seven judges reviewed and scored the projects which included about 120 pieces of art, just slightly more than last year’s show had.
“We’ve had pet abuse and drunk driving and there are just so many things that kids are interested in,” said Jenn Scott, the Tobacco Prevention Education Coordinator for Adapt, who was one of the judges. “It’s really cool to see them so excited about it because their voices are so powerful and at this age, if they think something is important now that’s just awesome.”
Scott said it’s interesting how the young kids see the issues in their heads and put that down on paper in the form of art.
“They have such interesting views that I’d never thought about, like smoking is slow suicide,” she said. “Their creative bubble is so awesome.”
The winners will be awarded and all of the art that was entered will be displayed at the Art of Prevention Art Show which will be held on April 27, with doors opening at 5 p.m and the ceremony starting at 5:30 p.m.