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A Means for Creative Expression

29th Annual High School Art Exhibition - EARTH: Concepts on Climate

Annual High School Art Exhibition Moved Online Amid COVID-19 Concerns

Each year, the University of Idaho College of Art and Architecture hosts a high school art exhibition. Amid concerns of coronavirus (COVID-19), this year’s High School Art Exhibition will look a little different.

“We look forward to celebrating the artistic talents of our participants,” said Delphine Keim, professor in the College of Art and Architecture’s Art + Design program. “The challenge in taking the exhibition online was to create a format that showcases and honors the thoughtful work of the students and teachers.”

While this year’s art will not be showcased in person, the college has made every effort to ensure the event will be special, and faculty and staff have been working tirelessly to transition the exhibition and awards announcement completely online.

“Although we wouldn’t be able to celebrate these promising young artists in person this year, we wanted to ensure they knew how truly amazing they were, and how much we appreciated their efforts and participation in this very special annual event,” said Lauren McCleary, clinical assistant professor of art education.

This year’s exhibition theme, “EARTH: Concepts on Climate,” asked student participants from across the state to share their observations and reflections on the issue through their own creative expression.

“It’s really powerful to see the work of students from every region of our state unified thematically by our annual exhibition,” said McCleary.

The intent of this year’s theme, which has been explored with visiting scholars and speakers throughout the year, was to connect and include the high school students in the conversation that was taking place at the university and around the world, said McCleary.

“We hoped it would inspire our artists; and it seems that it did,” she said.

This year, the college received 220 submissions from participants across the state of Idaho, with the furthest submission coming from Buhl.

“The submissions from around the state are fantastic. I am so encouraged by the participation. It is an important indicator on how much this generation cares and are ready to fully participate in their own future,” said Keim.

While the need to move the exhibition online was driven by the pandemic, we hope that by showcasing the talents of these promising artists online, we can also, in turn, make the exhibit more accessible to a broader audience. Maybe the work can offer a bright spot during a difficult time.Delphine Keim

While all the artwork was submitted digitally, mediums range from pencil and paint to ceramics and mixed media collage.

“We received works in a variety of methods and mediums, which was exciting, and will make for a really impressive digital display,” said McCleary. “We are looking forward to sharing the students’ hard work with the virtual community, and we especially want to thank the art teachers across the state for connecting their students to this opportunity.”

While moving the exhibition to an online platform was necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, McCleary hopes it will also allow a larger number of people to see the collection of work.

“While the need to move the exhibition online was driven by the pandemic, we hope that by showcasing the talents of these promising artists online, we can also, in turn, make the exhibit more accessible to a broader audience. Maybe the work can offer a bright spot during a difficult time,” said Keim.

The artwork receiving the “Ednetics Inspire Award” will be given a $1,000 scholarship sponsored by Ednetics. There will also be a “Dean’s Choice” award named, the recipient of which will receive a scholarship to the college’s Summer Design Days. First place will receive a $100 gift certificate, second place will receive a $75 gift certificate and third place will receive a $50 gift certificate.

The judges for this year’s event include Sonja Foard, assistant director of the Prichard Art Gallery; Margaret Vaughn, U of I associate professor of literacy; Joshua Hust, MFA graduate student in Art + Design; and Amy DesRosier with Ednetics.

The online art exhibition will open Friday, April 24.

Article by Kassandra Tuten, University Communications and Marketing

Published April 2020

Art & Design

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