“Evanescence,” Alcohol Ink & Burned Wood piece by Zara Wilkemeyer of Fillmore Central High School.
Lanesboro Arts is proud to present the Annual Juried High School Art Show, showcasing artworks by students in grades nine through 12 from Chatfield, Fillmore Central, Lanesboro, and Rushford-Peterson high schools. The show opens with a reception at 103 Parkeway Avenue North in Lanesboro on Saturday, January 11 from 5-7 p.m., which is a fun opportunity to meet and ask questions of student artists and teachers from these schools. The show runs through January 26, 2020. Always free and open to the public, gallery hours are on Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in January. The show features a variety of art projects, including those in ceramics, acrylics, pastels, ink, pencil, and mixed-media sculpture.
The students’ artistic processes and interests drive the exhibit content, making every year a fresh and inspired show. As Lanesboro art teacher Stena Lieb said, “My students are so very different from year to year. My curriculum changes with my students and we have worked together to create some very interesting works of art.” For example, Lieb shared, “My printmaking and fiber arts classes have found that they like to use the sewing machines, so we have changed some of our projects based on the interest in that skill. I want my students to be excited about art, so I let that guide where we go in our classes. I feel that this gives them more ownership of their work and a drive to do their best.”
Rushford-Peterson visual arts teacher Samantha Cunningham echoed the quality of the students’ work, stating, “I’m so excited each year to share the art of the Rushford students. They are talented and enthusiastic about art. No matter the challenge, they seem to creatively knock the objective out of the ball park.”
Students get to showcase their work in a professional setting and gain experience and feedback from community members and fellow students. As Fillmore Central art teacher Carrie Mathison said, “I look forward to the student show each year as it is a great opportunity for students to gain feedback and showcase artwork outside of the school setting, which is rare! Lanesboro Arts provides an amazing professional atmosphere for these students. The show opening is a new experience for most students and really opens up new opportunities and culture for the students.”
The opportunity to exhibit work in a professional gallery is a memorable one for the students. “It’s so exciting for them to be in a real gallery show, go to a professional opening, and hear all the wonderful feedback from gallery staff, other teachers, and community members. You can see when they first find their piece on the wall, they are truly proud of their artwork and creation,” shared Chatfield art instructor Abbey Potter.
According to Gallery Director Robbie Brokken, “The art show gives area students an opportunity to reveal a part of themselves to the public and each other through their art. Attendance and support of area families has been overwhelming and helps share our commitment to the community.”
Participating Fillmore Central student Zara Wilkemeyer has a piece called “Evanescence” in the show. The experience is a significant opportunity for her, she said. “Evanescence: To be forgotten, to merely disappear, means you were not truly known,” she shared. “It is because of this topic that makes me so humbled and honored to have the chance to be in the Lanesboro Arts Show. This is an honor that will forever be with me as my art career, or so I hope, soars. I shall not forget as it shall forever be with me and for that I am eternally grateful for this experience.”
Students gain inspiration from their fellow students’ work as well. Again, Potter shared, “For as much excitement as students have to be in the show, they have just as much excitement to see what others have created. I spend a good chunk of the opening reception walking around with my students, discussing artwork from other schools. They always want to know how another student did this or that, discuss what they enjoy about the piece, and how they would approach the project. I love seeing their artistic minds explore other students’ work and they often draw inspiration from what they see at this show.”
Mathison echoes this sentiment, stating, “The show offers great inspiration for students from other students outside their building and a high level.”
The exhibit is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. For more information visit www.lanesboroarts.org, call 507-467-2446, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.