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A gathering of artists at three schools

Visitors to the recent art show at Woodbury High School check out some the exhibits. Staff photo by Amber Kispert

It was a creative week in late March in District 833 when three separate Woodbury schools held art shows showcasing their creative students.

The entire month of March was National Fine Arts Month and hosting three art shows the last week of March was the culmination.

Recognizing the arts in schools is an important thing because art holds so many lessons and benefits for students, Woodbury High School art teachers Nancy Johnson and Tricia Schmidt said.

Through art, students learn how to think creatively, look at problems and issues from multiple views and they learn self-expression. Art also challenges students to raise their own standards and continue to reach for new heights.

The week of artists in District 833 kicked off with the fourth grade art show at Liberty Ridge, which will run through April 9. For the art show, students selected pieces of work from their assortment of creations since the beginning of the year that they were proud of and wanted to share.

That night it was the high school students' turn to display their work for the public to see. Students chose to either submit one piece or a couple, or they had the option to set up an entire table of their work with at least six pieces.

The works on display included; ceramics, painting, drawing, computer graphics, photography, sculpture, jewelry, and craft. Awards were given to the best work in each category, as well as the best body of work to those students who had a table.

"Art is an outlet, for the most part, kids can come in and let their minds wander wherever they'd like," Johnson said. "They can create things that people get excited about and react to and they're learning how things work, and learning that they are creating things on their own."

Visitors to the WHS gallery were also treated to a ceramics demonstration by two WHS students who were throwing on the wheel.

Closing the week out was Woodbury Elementary's art show on March 26. All students grades one through six selected one piece of work to display. The work on display included paintings, sculptures, collages, masks and mixed media art.

"They not only put a lot of thought into their artistic choices, ideas, and expression, but they also work very hard on their craftsmanship and art skills," Stacie Slocum, Woodbury Elementary art teacher, said. "I am thrilled to be able to watch the students bring elements of themselves, their interests, and backgrounds into the work they create."

Slocum said art is something that draws students to it through the chance to physically create something with their own hands and to express themselves through it.

"Most of the students enjoy getting messy and experimenting with different art materials," she said. "As well, I think students really get pleasure from expressing their personal thoughts or feelings through their work; I learn so much about my students from the art that they create and the stories they visually communicate."

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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