Southeast Community College, in conjunction with the Artists' Attic, held a photography exhibit featuring the work of local students. Professor Robert Gipe said the exhibit was part of a three-year project, the result of a grant he and some of his former students wrote.
"We were able to write the Rockefeller grant, which is a three-year, $150,000 grant that is used for promoting the arts and to help the community come together," he explained.
Gipe went on to say he and his students were inspired to write the grant while discussing the future of the county.
"The students felt like there wasn't enough art appreciation for kids around here, so we designed this project," he said.
Those working with the students on their photography assignments were six students from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and one student from Duke University, all of whom were on hand during Wednesday's festivities.
Student Becky O'Doherty said she enjoyed working with the students from the area.
"I worked with the students at Evarts High School, and they were so receptive," she said. "Their work was just as good as some of the work that art students have done. It was good for them to see that their eye and opinion is just as valuable."
Of the 240 people who took pictures were sixth grader Kayla Brummett and fifth grader Tiffany Causey of Wallins Elementary School. Assisted by the students from North Carolina and by their teacher Judy Hensley, Brummett said she has made a decision about her future as a result of working on this project.
"I want to major in photography and go to school in North Carolina," she said. "This project was really fun."
Hensley, a photographer, said working with her students has allowed her to view them in a new light.
"There is no distinction between a gifted and talented student and a special needs student in this project," she said. "Through the lens of a camera, everyone is equal. This has provided a measure of success for everyone involved."
Also part of the evenings events were selections performed by the Holy Trinity School choir under the direction of Lisa Trapp.