Saturday, December 13, 2008
Nuniwarmiut School Student Beginning Art Show 2008
Last Night the Nuniwarmiut School and the students of the Fall Beginning Fine Arts Class along with Mr. Kale Iverson held its first and possibly only public Art Show dispaying a semester's worth of work from 6 featured student-artists. Although real art supplies were limited to pastels, acrylic paint, butcher and construction paper, "borrowed" welding wire and charcoal pencil sets, skills were novice at best in the beginning, and space and lighting was less than desirable, the show was a resounding and impressive success that attracted upwards of 50 viewers and raised $45 for student art supplies.
The main goal of the class was to reintroduce beginning classic art class as an Elective to the school curriculum that generally hasn't had any electives other than their native Cup'ig language class in the last 4 years. In holding this show, the hope was to display the talented work of students and encourage more opportunities for student art in the future.
In the class itself, the Elements of Art and the Principles of Design were the main focus and had an accompanying project for each, as well as projects emulating the works of Georgia O'Keefe, M.C. Escher, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Henri Matisse, and others although not all projects were displayed.
The students picked their best work from over the semester, finished and matted them, and signed them for veiwing of the completed work.
The star pieces of the night were the giant pastel drawings done in the Style of Georgia O'Keefe which included close ups of flowers, tiger eyes, parrot eyes, dragonfly heads and a snake being held.
Another eye catching project was the repetitive rhythm project done with sponge stamps/acrylics/butcher paper in the style of Andy Warhol (not pictured).
The student self portraits (free choice of medium) also gained attention for student skill as well as the class collaboration project on the "Marlboro Marine," which was a panel piece.
All in all, a majority of the students demonstrated an extremely high degree of skill in the projects that included reproducing real objects. Whether it was a small picture, a 3-d object, or a clip from a magazine, the entire class showed a preference for reproducing photo images to a very high degree of clarity in their art while tending to struggle more with projects that were more abstract in nature.
Although the intent of the show was for viewing only, over 7 pieces were sold by the end of the night with all proceeds going directly to the artist.
All students in the show were present and beaming with a quiet pride as community members, parents, siblings, and teachers walked from panel to panel enjoying sparking cider, home made cookies and snacks, observing, interpreting and enjoying all the hard work, individuality and creativity on display from their very own Nuniwarmiut School Herder students. Additionally, all of the music the students listened to over the course of the semester as they created the art was compiled onto a "Art Class Mix" playlist and was played over speakers during the art show as well.
The student's teacher Mr. Kale Iverson feels that in current education there is a unacceptable deficit for the teaching of the arts in schools that spend too much time preparing students for the "high stakes" testing that No Child Left Behind has brought about. Teens are desperately trying to find ways to express themselves and the arts are a safe, creative, and sometimes lucrative avenue for this expression that have been stripped away from most school curriculums. Students that are not naturally gifted or interested in the areas of academic Reading, Writing, and Mathematics may never get a chance to display how capable, creative, hardworking and intelligent they are unless opportunities in visual and performing arts are provided for them. Hopefully this small show is one step in the right direction for the Nuniwarmiut School and the Lower Kuskokwim School District.
Change doesn't happen from the top down, but rather from the roots up, and this art class showed what one little class, in one little school, on one little island, in one little district can do to influence others in how and what they choose to teach their students to become active members of society.
The major benefit of the class was not political or monetary though, rather, six students and one teacher gained a great love for creating their own personal art as well as formed friendships and bonds that will last a lifetime.
Mr. Iverson and the students would like to thank all those who attended, helped out, donated and enjoyed the art show.
Next semester there will be no room in the busy acedemic schedule for Art Class unfortunately. To fill this need for art Mr. Iverson will be restarting up the popular and successful after school club from last year called "S.A.S." or Student Art Society with a focus of holding a spring SAS art show for the community once again.
Hope to see you all there in person or in spirit, thanks for reading!