On January 19, Peoria Mayor Cathy Carlat and Peoria City Council celebrated 22 young artists from the Peoria Unified School District (PUSD) spanning kindergarten to eighth grade who participated in the 11th exhibition of the Mayor and Council’s Young Artists Program.

“The city of Peoria is home to incredibly talented youth and it’s an honor to showcase their artistic creations at city hall,” says Mayor Carlat. “Art is truly the heart and soul of a community. By recognizing the creativity of our kids, we strengthen the powerful impact that comes from incorporating the arts into our lives.”

Believing that a city is not complete without the arts, Mayor Carlat created this ongoing program with PUSD to engage students interested in the arts while bringing attention to the value that art brings to a community. The most recent exhibition was on display in Peoria City Hall from Oct. 26, 2021 through Jan. 18, 2022. Students were honored with a certificate of recognition for their creative contributions and the framing of their personal artwork.

The West Valley Art Museum (WVAM) selected one student’s art to have on continued display near the museum through March 2022. Becca McClary, an eighth grader at Frontier Elementary School, was awarded with this distinct honor.

“Public art enriches the quality of life for residents, visitors, and businesses by creating spaces that invite contemplation while evoking a sense of community,” says Marylou Stephens, Peoria Arts and Theater Manager. “Through a diverse and vibrant collection of public art, lively theatre, and festival offerings, Peoria is proud to foster a strong arts culture.”

The WVAM is on the first floor of Peoria City Hall, located at 8401 W. Monroe Street. The gallery is open free to the public on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursday from noon to 6 p.m. For more information, contact WVAM at 623-972-0635 or wvam.org. To experience art in Peoria, visit peoriaaz.gov/arts.