To preserve and showcase their artistic talents, the Nevada Union High School art program will host an interactive fundraiser Friday.
“We tried to find something a little more the way we do things in the classroom, so we decided to have a more hands-on event,” said drawing and painting teacher Terry Baxter. “It’s akin to how we like to do things in the classroom. Last year, the response was a spectacular success.”
The event will be 5:30-9 p.m. at Miner’s Foundry at 325 Spring St. in Nevada City and will include artwork from the ceramics, photography and drawing and painting classes, as well as a raku fire for pottery, electric kick wheels for ceramics and stations where people can paint and draw, Baxter said.
“I’m planning on having little individual areas with assignments, and people can do what they want,” he said. “Then there will be a computer and cameras where they can do portrait work using various backgrounds.”
Students donated works of art to sell and the public can choose to create pieces using the pottery wheel, glaze them and fire them in a portable kiln, said John Slavonic, ceramics teacher.
“This is our first year doing something like this, and it should be a lot of fun,” he said.
The fundraiser is about more than just supporting the program, according to students.
“It’s important to have the freedom to express yourself, and it’s an outlet for something creative as opposed to other things that probably wouldn’t be as good for you,” said junior Nicole Faker. “This also prepares us for the future because employers want to hire people who can think creatively and come up with ideas.”
Some discovered a lifelong interest in art after taking classes for the first time at Nevada Union.
“It’s relaxing and something that’s become a part of my routine,” said senior Joanna Ten Eyck, who studies clay and makes sculptures. “I couldn’t imagine not doing it. I definitely want to continue this throughout my life.”
Art also gives you the ability to share your ideas and point of view, said senior Connor Lee, who likes to explore and incorporate multiple mediums of art.
“It’s a good form of expression. I can convey a specific message through art that can’t be expressed any other way,” said Lee, who also uses art to analyze popular culture and provide a perspective different from the norm. “People get too focused on what they know, and with art, people can see things in different ways.”
Lee also said the art program gave him a purpose in school after he entered high school without a specific interest.
“I found refuge in the art department and a lot of other kids experienced a similar thing,” Lee said. “It’s very important that the art department stays.”
“And not only stays but flourishes,” added photography teacher David Arnold.
The fundraiser is key to providing support for the art program, which has been struggling with budget cuts, he said, adding, “It has been particularly important with changes in schools and challenges with finances and our parent club, New Art Guilt, has been an enormous help in supporting the department.”
The fundraiser gives the students an opportunity to display their work to the public, an important experience, he said.
“It’s an ability for the community to see the high level of engagement in our art program,” Arnold said. “It helps to show their work off to the community and change their perceptions about what’s possible in schools. That little bit of encouragement makes such a difference.”
To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4230.