Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana is committed to helping youth develop their creativity and cultural awareness through knowledge and appreciation of the visual arts, crafts, performing arts and creative writing. Each local Club throughout Porter and Lake Counties have dedicated art centers in their facilities solely for youth to explore their talents in the visual arts by working with different art mediums. To encourage such exploration, and to showcase year-round arts programming, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana holds a local Fine Arts Exhibit each October at Southlake Mall providing a professional venue for the public to view Club members’ artwork. During the exhibit, each organization recruits local artists to judge and name first, second, and third place winners in the following art categories: monochromatic and multicolored drawings; pastel; watercolor; oil or acrylic; printmaking; mixed media; collage; and group project. The exhibit is made possible through received from Indiana Arts Commission; South Shore Arts; and the National Endowment of the Arts.

First place winners in each category and four age groups move on to a 13-state Midwest regional competition for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. First place artwork at the regional level proceeds to the national contest. This year, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana had 11 first-place regional pieces move on to the National Boys & Girls Clubs of America Fine Arts Competition. The National Fine Arts Exhibit Program is based on the idea that every Club member has the chance to be an artist. Recently, Boys & Girls Clubs of America announced the National Winners with three pieces created by Club members of our local organization named! The local winners represent three of only thirty-three pieces selected nationwide. Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana’s National Fine Arts Winners include:

  • Aarohi Agashe, age 8, Duneland Club member for a collage piece titled, “Jazzing Up the Classics.”
  • Sanja Kirova, age 17, Portage Club member for a monochromatic piece titled, “Self Portrait.”
  • Avery Krumwiede, age 9, Cedar Lake Club member for pastel piece titled, “Blue Kitty.”

“Receiving National Recognition for Fine Arts is quite an accomplishment,” states Kristina Balog, regional Club director for Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana, and organization-wide arts programming coordinator. “The Fine Arts Exhibit truly helps our Clubs showcase the talent of our Club members. It also is an opportunity for our Clubs to bring awareness of the multitude of programming that takes place each day within our facilities. We have so many youth who have great talent in the arts – and having three pieces, from our corner of the state, represented in the National Exhibit of only 33 pieces is quite an accomplishment. We are grateful for funding received through Indiana Arts Commission. Their support is allowing our organization to strengthen our fine arts programming,” Balog states further.

As National Winning Artists, youth will receive an awards plaque in the next few weeks. In addition, their artwork will be professionally reproduced and displayed in the National Art Gallery at BGCA’s National Headquarters in Atlanta and will tour regional and national conferences over the next year.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana:

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana enables young people to achieve GREAT futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Ten Club sites and eleven Kidstop locations throughout Lake and Porter Counties serve 10,000 young people annually through Club membership and community outreach. Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana provides a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun, friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. When school is out, our Clubs are in! Learn more about membership, volunteer opportunities, or how to make a tax deductible gift your local Club at (219) 764-2582, or by visiting Great Futures Start HERE.