Posted: May, 11, 2018 - 8:53am
Making the visual art visual
The beginnings of a permanent art collection showcasing student photography, drawings, paintings, and ceramics were installed this month in the second floor hallway of the C wing. Two years in the making, the collection is a result of the efforts of art teachers Kevin Shifley and Michelle Adams and the Friends of the Arts.
Three “best of the best” pieces are selected by judges from the Friends of the Arts during the annual Lakes Art Show. The student artists receive a monetary award of $50. So far, six pieces from six students are a part of the collection:
Jessica St. John
Shifley and Adams say the purpose of the collection is to “make the visual art visual” — a phrase they hear often from their department chair, Matt Kastor.
“That phrase says a lot about creating a culture and a standard of art at Lakes,” Shifley said.
Adams agreed, adding that the collection celebrates the hard work of their students.
It also helps to beautify the building, which has been a general undertaking of the duo for the past few years. With the help of their students, the art team displays pieces on the walls and in cases on a rotational basis. Shifley has turned the underutilized “unique and funky” space under the commons stairs into a rotational gallery. Administration, the maintenance crew, and the Booster Club have supported their efforts by helping to purchase and install various gallery and art show materials.
Shifley and Adams’s efforts to curate Lakes are opening up opportunities for their students to practice the experiences they might encounter in the real world of professional art. For instance, Shifley says he intends to challenge his AP students to use the gallery in the commons for solo shows. They would have to curate their own pieces, market their gallery, and then rationalize their creations to their audience.
Don’t be surprised if Shifley and Adams have more tricks up their sleeves in the future.