"Spring Art Extravaganza" for Students in Middle and High Schools
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While art teachers were putting up student art for the “Spring Art Extravaganza,” Kim Underwood invited them to send in some of the own work. To find teacher art, go to Teacher Art.
By Kim Underwood
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools
MARCH 5, 2019 – When art teacher Meredith Jones asked her sixth-graders at Walkertown Middle to draw self-portraits, she found that, at first, many of them weren’t really seeing themselves in the mirror.
With eyes, for instance, they were drawing what they thought an eye should look like.
“Forget what you think an eye looks like and look at what your eye actually looks like,” she would tell them.
And, if they didn’t like how that or other elements of their self-portrait turned out, she told them, come see her and they would work on it together.
Soon, Jones said, her art students became enthusiastic about the project.
“Other teachers will say they are practicing in their classes, she said.
And, when they were done with their self-portraits, they kept going.
“They started drawing their friends and their teachers,” Jones said.
Through Saturday, you can see the self-portraits that Jones’ students have done – along with many other wonderful works of art by middle and high school students – at the “Spring Arts Extravaganza” for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County middle and high schools.
The art is on display at the Sawtooth School in the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts in downtown Winston-Salem at 251 N. Spruce St. A “Spring Arts Extravaganza” for elementary school students is scheduled to be held there from March 26 through April 1.
Both extravaganzas are sponsored by Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, and Modern Automotive.
On Monday afternoon, art teachers from middle and high schools throughout the district were at Sawtooth hanging art by their students.
A number of other student creations also grew out of particular projects the art teachers had had their students undertake.
Robert Rose teaches art of Mineral Springs Middle. For one project, he asked students to find a passage in a book for young adults that had vivid imagery and to create a picture inspired by that writing. The project also served to introduce students to one of the ways artists can make a living – illustrating books.
Two of the pictures on display were inspired by books by Roald Dahl – Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Witches. Rose was impressed by all of the work students did.
“I was really proud,” Rose said. “They kind of blew me away with it.”
For one of the projects for their students, Denise Kanir and Diahann Betzer-Tabor, who teach art of Southeast Middle, had invited students to incorporate a yellow rope into a photograph illustrating some connection to their family or community.
In setting up the display, they hung the photos so that the yellow rope leaving one photo looked as if it was entering the photo next to it.
At the Clemmons Middle display area, art teachers Stacey Stephens and Katherine Howard were hanging pictures that included a project in which students had created pictures of fruit. With other works, they had encouraged students to choose subjects that are meaningful to them.
One of Stephens’ students had painted her mother. One of Howard’s students – Marissa France – plays in the school orchestra, and she had chosen to create a painting of her hand playing the cello.
Dudley Smith and Chris Lee teach art at Flat Rock Middle. When choosing works for the show, Lee said, he looks for expressiveness and signs of hard work. He also likes to honor students making progress.
For one project, he invited students to ask themselves, “How do you see yourself in a dream?”
One student created a picture with his mouth closed by a zipper.
Emily Schorle is new to Jefferson Middle this year. She was there hanging art with art teacher Allison Pegram and her trusty assistant – and son – Luke.
Schorle is doing a great job, Pegram said. “She is amazing.”
In working with students, Schorle teaches students about artistic traditions throughout the world – one piece on display was based on the work of an artist from the Central African country of Cameroon. She also introduces them to different techniques. Some of the pieces on display were made by quilling – rolling up strips of paper.
While Barbara Butryn and Sandrina Preudhomme, who teach art of Hanes Magnet Middle, were hanging pictures of hot-air balloons soaring into the sky and other art, Preudhomme talked a bit about a coming adventure that will take her to Jerusalem.
Because the middle school day ends before the high school day, most of the art teachers putting up art at the time teach at middle schools.
Among the first arrivers from high schools were Phil Benenati of Reynolds High and Christina Parrish, who teaches at North Forsyth High. Parrish returned from maternity leave in January.
She enjoys working with students at North.
“I like what I do,” she said.
The Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday. A reception for “Spring Arts Extravaganza” be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday.
As part of its “Artists of the Future” contest, Modern Automotive will be awarding prizes to some students, and the winners will be announced at the reception.
The families of one middle school winner and one high school winner will receive a family membership to the Sawtooth School for Visual Art, and a $250 certificate to be used to take a class. Those students’ art teachers will each receive a $150 Dick Blick gift card to be used to buy art supplies.