More than 950 pieces of student artwork were displayed at the FishHawk Creek Elementary’s 13th Annual Art Exhibit in late December.

FishHawk Creek Elementary students had a lot to be proud of last year. Artists from first through fifth grade participated in the school’s 13th Annual Art Exhibit in late December, where more than 950 works of art were put on show for the community to enjoy.

The school’s art specialist, Patricia Bunk, has been teaching at FishHawk Creek for 13 years and started the exhibit tradition when she arrived at the school.

“In Hillsborough County we have become aware that it is critical for the arts to remain in the forefront,” said Bunk. “As visual artists, we appreciate that students are synthesizing vast amounts of information with intensifying speed. Visual art relaxes the mind, enabling students to draw or paint various subjects into art, including history, politics and math vocabulary which impact our world.”

According to Bunk, the students create work that reflects their stances on issues that concern the world and have a global impact.

“We are shocking the psyche with positive, loving images,” she said. “We, as artists, are drawing powerful images that communicate poverty, environmental issues, animal rights, charity, feeding the homeless and many core values. It is all embedded in the visual images.”

During the event, Shenandoah Conservatory guitarist Jonathan Smith played live music, and food was provided by Outback Steakhouse.

“Comments from the parents were shockingly supportive and appreciative,” said Bunk. “One parent stated that in all three schools that her children attended, not one art teacher created such a vast variety of meaningful artwork for an exhibit.”

Bunk, a professional artist herself who has displayed work all over the world, including Ireland, France, China and the United Kingdom, encourages her students to express themselves and what they are learning about the world through their art. She teaches 959 students at FishHawk Creek.

“The students’ faces told the story of how their creativity brought the community together in a time of need,” said Bunk. “The children were a light that inspired love, compassion and all that is good in the world.”

Bunk wishes to thank Outback Steakhouse, her classroom volunteer Sonya Birkholz, Principal Steven Sims and volunteers Tiffany Hensel and Kelly Bole.

FishHawk Creek Elementary is located at 16815 Dorman Rd. in Lithia and can be reached at 651-2150. To learn more about Bunk and her artwork, visit https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/patriciabunk.