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Art teachers do more than train future professional artists - they help instill a creative mindset in all students.
Examples of the creative perspective are on display through Feb. 28 at Kruk Gallery, Holden Fine Arts Center, UW-Superior as part of the second annual K-12 Artists Showcase. The show features nearly 100 works by some of the best young artists in Duluth and Superior public schools.
"Creative thinking is in high demand, even if you aren't producing a piece of art," said Nikkee Francisco, an art teacher at Superior Senior High School, which is well-represented at the show.
Works in the showcase range from drawings and watercolors by kindergarteners, to a multi-dimensional textile installation, to acrylic paintings, sculpture and ceramics by accomplished senior high students.
Christian Kroll, 18, a senior at Superior Senior High School, is looking at a career in architecture, which combines artistic expression with the nuts and bolts of building design. "I love it. It's really soothing," Kroll said, describing the process of producing ceramic vessels like "Milky Way," which is on display in the show.
A relaxed concentration happens as the pottery wheel begins to spin, he said. "It just slows you down when you're on the wheel throwing stuff."
Kathy Hubbard, assistant professor of art education at UW-Superior, conceived and launched the show last year as a way to recognize and thank partnering high school art teachers and their students for all the hard work they put in throughout the year.
As students in the show get the honor of being selected, UW-Superior art students also earn credit for setting up and displaying the show, she said.
Being in the show is indeed an honor, according to Cassie Rowan, a junior at Superior Senior High whose acrylic painting is on display. "It makes me feel like I'm successful in what I'm working on," she said.
Rowan, who's considering studying art at UW-Superior or perhaps at a college in Colorado, also says she may want to explore tattoo artistry as a medium. "I've been doing art ever since I was little. It's just a therapeutic thing. I like showing what's going on in my mind," she says.
For his part, Josh Brand, 18, a senior at Superior, says he enjoys how improvisation can lead to successful works. For example, the bony-fingered handles of his mug, titled "Hades' Grip," arose as he was absentmindedly working some clay. "You don't always need a plan," said Brand, who's also interested in welding or possibly a military career. "You can just go on the wheel and spin."
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