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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Middle and High School art reigns in Art Center

The Grinnell Arts Center Stewart Gallery once again revealed its yearly exhibition of artwork from various students at the Grinnell-Newburg middle school and high school on Thursday, Feb. 5. The Arts Center has been working with the schools for over 20 years to display works from students in fifth through 12th grades.

The exhibit offers a diversity of student work with a wide range of skills and grades levels including everything from one-point perspectives paintings, clay pieces and graphic design works. The art in the exhibit is taken from students enrolled in the various art classes offered in the middle and high schools. Teachers believe the show is a great connection between the classroom and the community.

“The purpose of this art show is to let the community what goes on the art room. We want to display the kids’ works and give them recognition for their hard work and their talent in this show,” said middle school art teacher Josh Wardenburg.

Teachers also feel that this public recognition is important in growing student confidence.

“Many students have budding talents but need the reinforcement that public display gives them. There aren’t enough free public exhibits for students,” wrote high school art teacher Janet Ahrens in an email to The S&B.

For the past 20 years, the Grinnell Arts Center Gallery has reserved a month to display student artwork. The Arts Center hopes that this art exhibit is a chance to allow the community to see the work of these burgeoning artists.

Artwork from high school and middle school students is now on display in the Stewart Gallery. Photo by Matt Kartanata
Artwork from high school and middle school students is now on display in the Stewart Gallery. Photo by Matt Kartanata

“We never know if we have a future artist hidden on these walls,” said Christian Lutz, the Grinnell Area Arts Council Executive Director.

The process of choosing artworks to be displayed presents a unique challenge to teachers who try to choose showcase a range of different students, so there may be a wide range of qualities.

“Myself and a few other teachers took a while to choose artwork that we felt clearly demonstrated the students’ understanding and knowledge of the project to represent the school in the exhibit,” Wardenburg said.

The high school offers a wide variety of courses and students take various units in their art classes in order to be prepared for displaying their artwork.

“Since the show is a month earlier, only work for Art Foundations, Digital Photo 1, Intro to Drawing, Drawing 1, Intro to Painting and Painting 1 is exhibited,” Ahrens wrote. “Intro classes are instructed in the basic medium or techniques of the class. Art Foundations is introduced to the elements and principles of design and a chance to use different mediums.”

A similar process occurs for the middle school students who turn in their finals as exhibit submissions. Once their works are submitted, the selected works are put in the art gallery for free viewings.

The pieces from the young artists will be displayed Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. as well as on Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to noon until February 27.

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