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Rockwood Art Show Attracts 10,000 Attendees

The artwork was plentiful, the weather was great and Rockwood School District families came out in droves for the annual, districtwide art show.

Nearly 7,000 pieces of art filled practically every nook of Selvidge Middle School Saturday and Sunday for the Rockwood School District's annual Art Show. All 31 schools in the district, plus the two early childhood centers, were represented.

Rockwood Fine Arts Coordinator Matthew Frederickson said the show attracted one of the largest crowds in its 10-year history. "The people flow has been constant. We've never had a lull."

Selvidge volunteer parents working the greeting area for the show, Tom and Leanne McHugh, said the school's new library and multipurpose room gave the art show a much better layout since the last time it was the host school.

Leanne estimated the crowd on Saturday to be about 3,000. She said one of the most touching developments she witnessed was a family from Eureka whose child had artwork in the exhibition. "They brought both the grandmother and the great-grandmother here to see the child's pieces. That's what it's all about."

Tom, whose son had done a dinosaur that many attendees were admiring, said at least another 6,000 people came on Sunday.

Frederickson put the final estimate of this year's art show at 10,000 attendees. He said the off-site parking and shuttle service with Woerther Elementary School and Holy Infant Catholic School helped tremendously. Each year, Rockwood middle schools take turns hosting the show, which he admits prompts attendance challenges. "But we love having the art show in our own schools, within our actual communities, rather than somewhere larger outside of the Rockwood area. It's a win-win," he said.

"It's so amazing to see the diversity of students' expressions," Frederickson said, who pointed out that the artistic progressions from pre-Kindergarten through the senior year of high school were visible at the show.

Rounding out the art-immersed experience were adult artists demonstrating a variety of art forms in the lobby, such as printmaking, clay throwing, light sculptures and acrylic painting.

Eco-Cycle, a Chesterfield company, collected a variety of recycling items outside the school including desktop and laptop computers; hard drives; zip drives; printers; speakers; cell phones; cordless phones; answering machines; pagers; pocket personal computers; battery backup packs; digital cameras and routers. Eco-Cycle owner Steve Fechter said the recycled computers are taken apart, and the glass is recycled through The Doe Run Company's plant in Boss, MO.

Fechter said his recycling efforts are different in that his focus is to keep the recoverable parts in use within the United States.

A fee was collected to dispose of the recycled electronics, such as monitors and TVs, however a portion of the fees were donated to the Rockwood School District's Art Foundation.

For information about art-oriented summer camps conducted among the schools, visit the St. Louis Art Academy's website.

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