Pablo Picasso said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” Pershing County High School may have unlocked the secret.
Art teacher Katherine Johnson invites the public to a showcase of student artwork in the old high school gym on Wednesday, May 11, from 5 until 7 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.
Guests will have an opportunity to meet the Art Ambassadors – Bela Rosas, Fatima Ayala, Marya Burke, Anna Jimenez and Makayla Silva. Rosas, Ayala, Jimenez and Silva graduate next month.
Burke is a junior. The Art Ambassadors are part of the first-ever showcase of student artwork on a district-wide level.
Johnson started the Ambassadors program when she began teaching at PCHS last fall. Counselor Matt Schottel chose the students based on their character and prior experience in art classes.
“I started Art Ambassadors because there are many opportunities to highlight athletic and academic achievements, but I wanted to share some of that light with students that excel artistically,” she says.
At the beginning of the week, the ambassadors prepare a lesson. Later, they put it into action, teaching Lovelock Elementary School students to create art. Their creations grace the elementary and high school hallways.
“It is a way to bring a much-needed elective to the elementary school while generating excitement around the importance of art education,” says Johnson.
“Being the very first trial of the art ambassador’s class has been a great experience and helped bring out our leadership skills,” adds Rosas. “It’s nice knowing we can bring some joy to the kids by letting them express creativity in their own ways.”
The ambassadors work on their own projects as well, including drawing, painting and stained-glass. They will display it on Wednesday evening.
They’ve also organized the children’s artwork. However, the entire school district has contributed to the multimedia showcase.
Chelsea Montes and Melissa Jones began teaching at the high school last fall along with Johnson. Montes’ business classes and Jones’ agricultural students will add spark to the showcase.
Guests will see work from agricultural mechanics, agricultural science, business, photography, STEM, ceramics, drawing and painting.
Johnson has a message for “anyone with a child in elementary school, in a STEM or art class at the middle school or in an art, agriculture, business or STEM class at the high school.”
“You’ll see something your student made,” she promises.
The agriculture students will display projects they completed in the classroom, welding shop and art class. These include metal roses, wood burned signs and floral arrangements they designed and created.
The business students made miniature store fronts out of shoe boxes. A few of the businesses include McDonald’s, Lids, Converse and Earthbound Trading Company.
“Also, we will have quite a few photographs from photography class,” says Montes, a local portrait photographer, 4-H leader and softball player.
Shelly Nee’s video production class will produce a live show during the event. It will feature the high school’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program.
Guests will even have a chance to create their own art to take home as a souvenir.
“I want to share this excitement with our town and invite them to our showcase. We have an incredible opportunity for collaboration between our departments,” says Johnson. “Hopefully, this is just the beginning.”