Local student art on display | PostIndependent.com

Local student art on display

Will Grandbois
GSHS senior Elise Hillbrand works on a charcoal drawing in art class.
Provided |

As the school year draws to a close, area schools are taking the chance to showcase students’ artistic talents and accomplishments.

Glenwood Springs High School is busy preparing for its 27th annual Fine Arts Week, which kicks off Monday, May 16. All week long, catch student art in the gymnasium from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 5:30-8:30 p.m., along with performances in the evening.

The middle and high school choirs perform at Monday, a drama showcase is planned for Tuesday, a jazz, concert band and wind ensemble concert for Wednesday, and the middle school band on Thursday, all at 6:30 p.m..

The wind ensemble’s performance will include original music by former Glenwood resident Warner Olsen, who grew up listening to the GSHS marching band practicing and began composing at age 88.

The art show itself will also include plenty of variety.

“We offer a lot here,” said art teacher Tish McFee. “Sewing, ceramics, metalsmithing, glasswork, photography, drawing, painting…”

Teacher John Linn views his graphic design class as art first and foremost, as well.

“I think it’s really relevant to today’s creative sector,” he said. “It allows some freedom for us to explore some fun stuff, but it also opens up a lot of windows for career opportunities.”

A lot of the same skills come into play with digital photography, and Linn also teaches a black and white film photography class.

“I think those things that came before are pretty relevant to how things are happening today,” he said. “I also think they enjoy the hands-on process of crafting a tactile work of art.”

Even in drawing and painting classes, students aren’t afraid to think outside the box.

Junior Jolie Pirner’s favorite work of the year is an irregular shaped mixed media piece with three dimensional elements.

“Instead of just having it on a regular rectangular piece of board, I actually cut out a head,” she said. “There’s a world in the eyes. It shows that our generation is developing our own global viewpoint.”

“I’m always imagining things, and I like to create things,” she added. “I like all the different techniques and ways to create the illusion.”

Other students will have to be content with prints of their favorite work for the show, since the Advance Placement program keeps the best of what they submit. Students in McFee’s AP class did a dozen works on a theme and twelve more to show variety.

Senior Tyanna Canaan decided to focus on faces.

“Through all the faces one sees in life, some leave imprints,” she said. “I wanted to display the feelings and memories I’ve gotten from people.”

Junior Cristian Aguilar took the opportunity to explore different faiths.

“All religions even though they’re different have a lot in common,” he said. “I’m showing that they’re all tied together. They have a common theme of searching and becoming a better person.”

None of it would have been possible without the inspiration of the class and those around him.

“The first part is your vision,” he said. “The second half is the support of your fellow artists, friends, family…”

McFee hopes the art show will give the students a chance to see how far they’ve come.

“You can see a real progression,” she said. “While they’re working they’re just thinking about getting one project done, and they don’t realize they’re developing a style until they stand back.”

“I want the community to see our talent,” she added.

Other events

Roaring Fork High School’s art show runs May 16-18 and is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The exhibit includes woods projects, photography, paintings, mixed media, drawings and sculptures. The RFHS choir will be performing at 7 p.m. May 17, and RFHS Band will show off composition of their own at 6 p.m. the same night. The Guitar Class Coffee House will perform Wednesday night.

Work from around Garfield County Re-2 is currently on display at the Rifle Library, with a special middle school reception planned for May 11 at 6 p.m.. Students from Rifle to Aspen are also featured in the Aspen Art Museum’s Young Curators’ program. The work not displayed in other shows will be featured at the Charles J. Wyly Gallery at the The Art Base Basalt, with an opening May 13 from 5-7 p.m.

“We try to get involved with anything that supports art education,” said exhibitions manager Jocelyn Murray.

Grand Valley High School just concluded its arts showcase, and Basalt High School will hold its art show on May 26, 27 and 28 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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