Courtesy of
Sarah West

Since 2008 The Sarah West Gallery of Fine Art, A Center for Cultural Arts has continued to expand and increase endeavors for sustainability. As a steward of sustainability, historic preservation, cultural conservation, and continued education it recognized the importance of cultural appreciation and accessibility to culturally enriching involvements. Also, recognizing the paramount importance of accessibility to fine art education and the severe lack of related resources for schools in rural parts of our home state, it prioritizes any opportunity to bridge the gap and forge new paths to making the inaccessible accessible.

Art in Schools is a fine art education program made accessible to elementary school students through collaboration between The Sarah West Gallery of Fine Art and any participating Board of Education.

Through collaboration with The Lee County Board of Education, Art in Schools debuted in 6th Grade Classrooms at four elementary schools in Smiths Station and Salem, Alabama during the 2019-20 school year.

Upon school closures and in support of Safer At Home statewide mandates, Art in Schools rapidly transitioned from a Traditional Learning program and adapted to the Virtual Learning model. Through the end of the 2019-20 school year, Art in Schools fine art classes were rendered virtually and without interruption, concluding a record-setting school year, even amid the unforeseen circumstances presented by the pandemic.

The debut school year (2019-20) for Art in Schools was one of historic proportions, as each selected school had never had access to a fine arts program before.

This summer, The Sarah West Gallery of Fine Art set to work refining the Art in Schools program for Virtual Learning expansion.

In the summer of 2020, The Art Box, a custom curated art program developed exclusively by The Sarah West Gallery of Fine Art, in efforts to prioritize a Safer Studio for socially distanced learning, debuted upon the reopening of Smiths Station, Alabama’s premiere fine arts destination.

The Art Box for Art in Schools provided for increasing expansion of The Sarah West Gallery of Fine Art’s partnership with Lee County Schools.

This year, every 6th Grade student at select elementary schools, including Loachapoka Elementary, Wacoochee Elementary and every elementary school in Smiths Station, Alabama will receive fine art education as part of their Virtual & Traditional Learning School Year 2020-21. With provision of The Art Box for Art in Schools, the Sarah West Gallery of Fine Art also provided every student with their very own fine art supplies that correspond with the Virtual Learning program.

The future for Art in Schools will be ever expanding as it is Sarah West’s goal to make Cultural Enrichment through Fine Art Education accessible to every elementary school student in the state of Alabama.

Art in Schools is a fine art education program founded/developed and provided by The Sarah West Gallery of Fine Art in collaboration with educators.

Through Art in Schools, students learn and cultivate skills for design, critical thinking, innovation, analysis, and further establish creative solutions through strengthening abilities.

To find out more about the Art in Schools program, visit