Many families in our communities come out yearly and enjoy a night of creating art with family. This event is an activity that HS art students organize every March in recognition of Youth Arts Month. Family Art Night is quickly becoming a beloved tradition in our community, offering a space where parents and children alike can unleash their creativity and forge lasting memories.

Held on Tuesday, March 19 from 6:30-8:00 in the EM High School gym, Family Art Night transforms the traditional sports gymnasium into a vibrant hub of activity. Upon entering, families are greeted with a kaleidoscope of colors and a medley of artistic supplies. The atmosphere is charged with excitement as the kids eagerly explore the possibilities before them.

The activities offered at Family Art Night are suggested by art students in my 6th-12th grades and then organized into a well-rounded event. We start with a theme to go off of so every year has been different. The students help get their activities ready for the night and offer directions for the families as they arrive while fostering a supportive environment where creativity can flourish.

This year's theme was "Underwater Art Adventure" So naturally we wanted the kids to have an ocean-like experience. One of my classes decided they would build a paper mache shark which led to 6th and 8th graders building 3D sea creatures that could also hang with the shark. A wire was stretched between the basketball hoops and volleyball standard to hang these creatures. The families then could navigate through the stations while being "underwater".

Among the most popular stations included face painting, aquariums made with rock, sand, and pipe cleaners, suncatcher jellyfish and marbleized seashells. The photo booth area had a submarine, shark cut out and Ariel and Flounder along with a coral reef that featured the 1st grade coral sculptures that were made from wire and nylon and painted in bright colors. The kids also had projects on display, which included snorkeling self portraits by the 2nd grade and flip a clip animations by the 3rd grade. These are just some of the wonderful things that the families experienced at this years E-M Family Art Night, "Underwater Art Adventures".

Indeed, the impact of Family Art Night extends well beyond the confines of the gymnasium walls. Research has shown that engaging in artistic activities as a family can strengthen bonds, boost self-esteem, and improve communication skills. Moreover, the benefits of creative expression extend to mental health, providing a therapeutic outlet for stress and anxiety.

After all, as Picasso once said, "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up."