Student artists receive community exposure at AOG

Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Arts on Grand is displaying Spencer High School students' artwork. The exhibit began Feb. 27 and will continue through Friday, April 6. Submissions include drawings, paintings, sculptures, ceramics and design pieces. AOG will host a public artist reception from 1:30-3 p.m. on Saturday where community members can view the artwork and meet some of the student artists.
Photos by Colin Van Westen

Approximately 30 Spencer High School students are displaying their artwork at Arts on Grand. The exhibit began Feb. 27 and will continue through Friday, April 6.

"The biggest reason this show is important is so students know they are talented and can continue on with those talents," AOG Executive Director Ryan Odor said. "It also grows an appreciation for Arts on Grand here locally so, in the future, they can continue to share some of their art with us here as they continue to grow as artists."

The exhibit is compromised of drawings, paintings, sculptures, ceramics and designs. Some students brought in artwork that they had previous completed while others displayed artwork completed this semester.

Louise Kierscht is the SHS ceramics and design instructor while Dave Storm acts as the SHS painting and drawing instructor.

"Bre Wilkerson, she is a shot put girl, so she made a hand and asked, 'Mrs. Kierscht, can I make a shot put?'" Kierscht said. "I said, 'sure.' Another student made the hand of a drowning person. I try to give them as much flexibility to make it interesting to them."

AOG will be hosting an artist reception for the show from 1:30-3 p.m. on Saturday. More pieces will be displayed in the coming weeks.

"It is nice that the work is out there for other people to see," Kierscht said. "Just the recognition of having the work here. It is an honor to have your work here. Most kids like it. I love for the kids to have the community school connection. I think that is great. I really want to make collaboration between the students and the community stronger."

This year, the exhibit is featuring two SHS artists who have received national recognition through the University of Iowa Belin Blank Center as 2018 Scholastic Art & Writing award winners.

Senior Jade Barnes received the Gold Key award in the drawing and illustration category and senior Natalie Jacobson received the Gold Key award in the drawing and illustration and painting categories. Senior Kayla Clark and sophomore Max Schmidt also received Scholastic Art & Writing recognition. Clark received honorable mention in the digital art category and Schmidt received the Silver Key award in the ceramics and glass category.

Previous participants in the high school art show have gone on to major in art in college and have careers influenced by their experience in art classes.

"In recent history Kip Davis, Megan Wassom, Will Schar, Olivia Fletcher and Lily Norlin have continued art in college and have continued to produce art connected to their work," AOG curator Joanne Schar said.

AOG has displayed student artwork since 1989. Currently, SHS has approximately 100 students participating in the art program.

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