2018 High School Art Exhibit
Director: Sally Graves Machlis
The 27th Annual University of Idaho Annual High School Exhibition will be held from February 21-March 9, 2018 in Ridenbaugh Hall Gallery on campus with an awards reception Friday, Feb. 23, from 3-5 p.m. The exhibition coincides with the Jazz Festival when many high school students are on campus.
This event offers University of Idaho students an opportunity to be engaged in all aspects of hosting a real world juried art competition. It provides an opportunity for high school students from throughout the state of Idaho to exhibit their artwork in a professional gallery setting and compete for awards. Over 200 students from 30 high schools around the state participate. It increases the interaction between high school art teachers and the University and also develops awareness on the part of many Idaho communities of the talents of their high school artists and teachers. The high school art exhibition allows the University of Idaho to extend beyond campus boundaries and positively affect the education of Idaho’s youth. These connections serve us well in terms of recruitment and partnerships with Idaho public schools.
University of Idaho art and design and art education students are directly involved in choosing a theme and designing a poster and promotional materials. They help prepare mailers to every high school in the state containing the promotion poster, prepaid mailing labels and entry forms. They collect, catalogue, label and hang the artwork in the gallery when it is received from the schools. They jury the student work for awards and help with an awards reception.
Through this project, University of Idaho students are reminded that the arts are multifaceted and are an essential part of their university education. They develop their critical thinking skills when choosing a theme and undertaking the difficult task of judging the quality of the work for awards. They are able to reflect on their own creative work and education when they see how the high school students interpret the theme and express themselves. The university students hone their communication skills when designing promotional materials and interacting with public schools. It is an opportunity for them to engage in community outreach and understand that they have much to offer society.
This year’s theme is “Radical Empathy”. Some of the issues we face today such as natural disasters, school shootings, social and political divisions, hate speech and bullying weigh heavily on the minds of High School students. Radical Empathy is a concept that seeks to better understand the feelings of others to affect positive change and build healthier, more compassionate communities. Radical Empathy asks us to fundamentally change our perspectives from judgmental to accepting. Radical Empathy requires that we try to imagine how another person feels and to understand and to reflect on our feelings and beliefs.
Art can connect us to our personal feelings and emotions. Artists seek to change culture through the communication of their unique vision. Our theme is rich with visual implications and we hope to see some wonderful interpretations of the theme this year.
The connections that are forged through this exhibition with the public schools are important. The teachers are so honored to have their student’s work exhibited at the University of Idaho and the communities highlight their winners in the local newspapers. The impact on the individual student of having their work exhibited on the University of Idaho campus is lasting and can positively affect their college and career choice.