Charlottesville Albemarle Airport (CHO) has a new look thanks to the artistic talent of students ranging from preschool to high school - and one drawing is getting a lot of attention.
This year, Albemarle County is celebrating 20 years of having multiple student exhibits in the community. In honor of that anniversary, the school system wanted to do something different, and the partnership with the airport was born.
Now, that partnership is proving to be a rewarding experience for everyone involved.
"I've told them how many thousands of passengers are looking at their work, so they're really excited to know that many people are looking at what they have here," said Connie Cook, CHO community outreach coordinator.
The artwork from the Albemarle County students is sparking a tremendous amount of positive feedback from travelers.
"A lot of them can't believe they're students' work. They'll look at it and then they'll say, 'these are from the schools?' And I'll say 'yeah, these are not professionals,'" said Cook.
The eye-catching artwork comes from preschool- to 12th-grade students across 26 schools. They have created a total of 150 pieces of work, including self-portraits and sculptures.
"Our goal is for them to be ready to do college and a lot of these students are going to be there to do that and that's what makes us proud more than anything else," said Karen Singel, Albemarle High School art teacher.
"Everyone's like, 'you are so talented, you are so good at it,'" said Suraj Chhetri, 12th-grade art student.
Albemarle High School senior Suraj Chhetri's self-portrait has stunned passengers, but also himself. It's the first drawing he's ever done of this magnitude.
"It's fantastic. I feel like so good. I feel like I would like to do more drawing," said Chhetri.
Teaching kids to discover talent within and inspire others - including strangers - is what the program aims to accomplish.
"I know what I produced as a high school student and these students have passed me long ago," said Singel.
The airport has also set up a special station where travelers can draw their own self-portraits.
To see all of the artwork on display at CHO, click here.
Natalie Wilson joined the NBC29 news team as a general assignment reporter in April 2012.Full Story
Natalie Wilson joined the NBC29 news team as a general assignment reporter in April 2012. She is a proud alum of Howard University and is currently pursuing her Master's in Communication at Johns Hopkins. Email/ Full Story