Lanesboro Arts is proud to present the Annual Juried High School Art Show, showcasing artworks by 9-12th grade students from Chatfield, Fillmore Central, Lanesboro, and Rushford-Peterson High Schools. The show opens with a reception on Saturday, January 13 from 6-8 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 27, 2018. Always free and open to the public, gallery hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 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.
“I always try to push this as a big stepping stone and great experience,” says Fillmore Central art teacher Carrie Mathison. “We always look at it (the art show) as a very big honor for them.” Mathison, who’s in her eighth year at Fillmore Central, says there’s a special connection and appreciation shared by the talented teens. “They like to see the variety of work from other schools as well,” she added. “There’s just kind of an awe and admiration at the same point.”
According to Gallery Director Robbie Brokken, “The art show gives the 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.”
“A lot of times I think students think their work is just contained inside a bubble at school and no one is really interested in their ideas and their talents and skills,” stated former Lanesboro art teacher Matt Wagner after last year’s exhibition. He stressed that certainly was not the case and explained it’s also important for the public to see that art is an important part of the school day. Wagner, who now teaches in Winona, said he always tries to keep an open mind when it comes to project ideas; however, he noted there is one catch. “My goal is to force students to do work that they can’t Google,” he laughs. “I want them to take their background and put it in a visual form.”
Stena Lieb, a Lanesboro native who is the new Lanesboro art teacher after teaching two years at Mabel-Canton, described art as much more than a course offering. “It helps you to push your creativity, to think outside-of-the box and to really adapt to different challenges that life can put in front of you,” she elaborates. “The arts, in general, help create individuals who are well rounded.”
“To me, the show is really about supporting the arts in the schools and collaborating with the other teachers,” shares Chatfield art instructor Abbey Potter. “The opening reception gives me the opportunity to catch up with the other teachers from the surrounding schools and ask about how they came up with ‘this’ or ‘that’ for their projects. I leave with a lot of great ideas for future projects or techniques to try with my students. The reception also gives me a chance to meet students’ parents, talk with them and their child about all of the artwork on display, and most rewarding, see the excited look on the student’s face when they view their piece framed, correctly lit and hanging on a gallery wall.”
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.