Wild Oats and Billy Goats showcases student art


“We were trying to think of ways we could do a little community outreach, so what would be better than to highlight our very own artists from the City of Decatur,” Jacobs said.

On Jan. 27, Wild Oats and Billy Goats (WOBG) partnered with the Decatur Arts Alliance to showcase student art in their store. This art came from a variety of Decatur City Schools such as Renfroe, Westchester and the 4/5 Academy.

WOBG is a hand artisan gallery, meaning every piece in the store is handcrafted from artists located in Georgia. They feature all types of artists as well as art pieces from jewelry to handcrafted wooden pieces.

The purpose of the partnership between WOBG and Decatur Arts Alliance was to reach out to various Decatur City School art programs to get them involved. They offered each school the opportunity to choose a week in which they would showcase student art along with an art opening on the Sunday of that week.

“We just thought [the student showcase] would be a really nice experience for us, getting to bring the kids in and seeing the new art, but also letting the students experience a real art exhibit with an opening,” manager of WOBG Kim Jacobs said.

The first student art showcase featured around 30 pieces of art and provided food and drink to the parents and students at the store. 

“Everyone was walking through the store, taking pictures, trying to find where their art piece was displayed. We had taken down the art in the front window, we even had selected a few of their pieces to be in the front window for a couple of days,” Jacobs said.

Many customers of WOBG have been excited about the student art as well.

“We had one lady come in from the community, she is a customer of WOBG, and we invited her to come back during the reception and she did. She found a piece of art that she really loved and it was one piece that was not for sale. So, she was really disappointed about that, but she said she would come back and check out all the other art when the other exhibits are up,” Jacobs said.

Some of the student artists are attempting to sell their piece if someone wants it. “[the student art] is marked and it’s got the students name, the name of their project and if they are willing to sell their project or not. It’ll either say not for sale or it’ll have a price that they are willing to sell it for,” said Jacobs.
The most recent showcase opening, on Sunday Feb. 24, features around 35 pieces of student art from Westchester Elementary.

I always say yes to showing off student artwork because it gives children a thrill to be recognized in such a unique way,” art teacher at Westchester Elementary school Nadine Howarth said.

The art teachers at the various schools were asked to give their students an art project to add a theme to the student artwork.

“I brought in artwork that my students were making during the month of February for African American History Month,” Howarth said. “Our art inspiration came from the artists Alma Woodsey Thomas, Stephen Wiltshire, Kimmy Cantrell and West African Textiles.”

The next opening for student art will be on March 3 featuring 4/5 Academy art.

WOBG will plan to showcase student art again next year provided they, “have a good turnout and the art teachers are happy with the way that it works and students are pleased and the parents are pleased then it’s a win win for everybody,” Jacobs said. WOBG also hopes to have full participation from all Decatur City Schools in the future.