October 25, 2020

The Yorktown Woman’s Club

Annual art show builds community

By Cathy Welch

Correspondent

Georgia native, Lynda Burton worked in nursing mostly with older adults her entire career. Ultimately, she was facility administrator at Riverside Regional Convalescent Center before retiring in 2006. She joined the Yorktown Woman’s Club in 2007. She’s been club president since May 2018.

One initiative the woman’s club offers to York County Schools is their February Art Show dating back more than 50 years.

“I’m extremely proud of the art show, and it is definitely a passion of mine,” she said. “Working with children in the arts really grabs at my heart.”

The club’s art chair, Ginny Napier, has coordinated this event with the art committee for eight years. Formerly a guidance counselor at Poquoson High School she knows the schools well.

“It takes a lot of organization, and the schools are very cooperative,” she says. “Last year, we received a $500 grant from the Celebrate Yorktown Committee for our art show.”

The contest is open to four age groups in York County Schools: kindergarten through second grade, third through fifth grades, sixth through eighth grades and ninth through 12th grades. The art mediums are all visual art, including watercolor, oil, pastel, pen and ink, mixed media, and digital color and black-and-white photography.

“It’s a great way for kids to get recognized and put their work out there,” said Mimi Carter, art teacher at Tabb Elementary School who recently had three first-place winners. “I chose from projects we were doing throughout the year.”

The art show, held on the third Tuesday in February, is for all first-place winners for every category and age group. This year, 38 students won first place and were invited to the Feb. 18 show held at Yorkminster Presbyterian Church to receive their blue ribbons and certificates.

Art teachers are notified in early fall, giving them time to plan and get students excited about displaying their art. In January, the chosen art is delivered to an independent local artist for judging. The judge is an art educator with high school and college teaching experience.

“You’d be amazed at how talented these children are, how creative a kindergarten child can be,” Burton said.

The judges awards first, second and third places. First-place winners receive blue ribbons and certificates at the art show. A Best-in-Show winner is announced for each group, and they receive a small monetary gift. Their work goes on to compete at the district level. Club members display their art at the show separately and get blue ribbons and move on to district and possibly state.

“I think the students enjoy our cupcake reception more than anything else,” Burton joked.

The woman’s club currently has 65 members. The club has grown in the services it provides.

Initiated in 1948, the club works under The General Federation of Women’s Clubs, whose mission is: “An international women’s organization dedicated to community improvement by enhancing the lives of others through volunteer service.”

The club meets at local libraries, Yorktown Presbyterian and local restaurants. They hold their Spring Fling at The Hornsby House and Spring Luncheon at Riverwalk Restaurant.

The club supports The Food Closet, Watermen’s Museum, Meals on Wheels, Bargain Box, the Ecuadorean Children’s Mission, Natasha House, Avalon House and Pet Pantry, in addition to other organizations. They budget every year to do $3,000 in scholarships to York County students. They also work with York County judges, the bar association, the regional jail, the York County School Division and the Commonwealth Attorney as court docents for high school seniors who completed their government class each year.

“We received best overall under public issues for Tidewater District level for this program and honorable mention at GFWC’s National Convention,” Burton said.

A club favorite, the Veterans’ Fishing Trip and Picnic working with Yorktown Rotary, is held for veterans from Hampton’s Veterans Administration Medical Center. They provide food, set up, clean up and help entertain guests.

“I enjoy the people I work with,” Burton said. “I’ve never worked with such a loving, caring, dedicated group of women who work hard and want to make a difference in the community.”

The Yorktown Woman’s Club

PO Box 404

Yorktown, VA 23690