Fire House Gallery Cultivates Budding Artists

The Fire House Gallery in Berryville, Virginia is joining forces with Heritage Child Development Center to showcase children’s art in a delightful exhibit – Budding Artists — opening Friday, June 8th. The Center is a member of CHEERS School Family Inc. providing care and learning opportunities for children ages six weeks to twelve years old.

“We believe that this is an excellent opportunity for our students to learn about the artistic process and to then have their work displayed where it can be seen by friends, family and our community,” said Heritage Child Development Center executive director Tasha Demko.

The work of eighty talented young local artists is currently on display at the Fire House Gallery in Berryville, Virginia - photo courtesy CHEERS School Family

Demko says that each of the various grade groups at the school participated, including children as young as twelve weeks old.

“The littler ones worked with a helper to create texture paintings,” Demko explained. “Things like cotton balls, feathers and marbles were placed in a plastic container with paint then transferred to the canvas.”

Demko said that even at three months of age the infant artists visibly enjoyed the creative process.

“The infants were definitely engaged,” Demko explained. “Painting is a sensory input activity and very stimulating. It was clear that they were enjoying the activity.”

Demko said that older students explored the creative process through both a collaborative design piece as well as an independent project.

“The students worked together to create a splatter painting collage using their hands and common household items like forks, knives – a flyswatter- as templates,” Demko said. “The result is a beautiful painting that resembles graffiti.”

Students also created “wild-side” self-portraits Demko said.

“The artists were asked to express their wild and crazy face on the left side of the self portrait and their calm and collected self on the right.”

Demko, who only recently took on the executive director role of the Heritage Child Development Center, said that one of her immediate goals is to improve public awareness of the Center’s programs.

“Our building and programs have been here in Berryville for fifteen years,” Demko said. “We believe that we have a lot to offer this community.”

Demko said that the Heritage Child Development Center was especially grateful to the staff at Opus Oaks, An Art Place who donated the art supplies and materials for the project.

“Opus Oaks’s help and support were exactly what we needed to make the project happen,” Demko added.

As many as 80 pieces of artwork will be on display at Berryville’s Fire House Gallery. The exhibit will run through June 30th and the entire community is encouraged to stop by and enjoy the art.

For more information on CHEERS School Family members: Children First CDC, Heritage CDC, and Heritage Clubhouse please visit

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  1. Jennifer says:

    This is such a fine example of organizations working together for the benefit of all. I look forward to seeing the exhibit at our great little Berryville gallery – thanks to all of you.