Students, teachers and family members gathered Saturday for the opening of the 23rd-Annual Butler County Student Art Exhibit at the Coutts Museum of Art.

Pieces of art created by students in grades Kindergarten through eighth will be exhibited at the Coutts until March 8.

Terri Scott, Coutts interim director, said the exhibit is one of the Coutts’ most popular events of the year.

“It is a way for us to support students,” she said. “Those students who play sports get a lot of recognition. Art students do not get as much recognition. This is a way for us to give those students recognition.

“We have people come to this exhibit who did not know we were here or knew we were and did not have a reason to come in.”

The Coutts estimates about 1,000 people will visit the exhibit during its run.

The halls of the Coutts were busy Saturday with boys and girls happily pointing at their art pieces.

Parents snapped photos of their sons and daughters next to the colorful drawings, paintings and sculptures.

Madline Stout, a third grader from Lincoln Elementary School in El Dorado, showed her family her Bad Hair Day drawing.

“It is doing what I like,” she said about her young girl with the multi-color hair. “Art is fun.”

Sami Owens, a third grader at Bluestem Elementary School, did a drawing of her name surrounded by colorful concentric rings.

“It was fun,” she said. “I knew I didn’t want to do a pattern. I like it, and I like art.”

Kathleen Brophy, fourth grader at Martin Elementary School in Andover, was excited to see her drawing of a dragon and unicorn castle hanging in the museum.

“I like doing patterns and coloring,” she said. “I just love art. You get to use your imagination a lot. You can do whatever you want and make up whatever you want. It does not have to be an actual creature. It does not have to be an actual thing.”

Kathleen has extended her love of art beyond school. She is also taking a pottery class for the first time this year.

“You can do cups and things,” she said. “They are very interesting. You can make any kind of bowl or statue you want.”

The high school student art exhibit will follow at the Coutts in March and April.

The Coutts, 110 N. Main St., El Dorado, is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, call 321-1212.