Photo by Brandon Hicks
Caroline Shell and Jasmine Filyaw arrange
T-shirts to be screen printed.

Cloudland Elementary to showcase student art

Published 10:07am Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cloudland Elementary School will be transformed into an art gallery on Thursday night showcasing works of art created by students.
The art will be on display for a Student Artists’ Reception and Gallery Dedication from 4-6 p.m. April 17.
The art show, organized by volunteer teacher Mike Hill, will showcase more than 100 art pieces from students at Cloudland Elementary, from kindergarten through sixth grade.
Hill said the students were far exceeding the normal-grade level standards for their ages.
“I am not using grade school lessons,” he said. “They are working on high school and college-level material and they are rocking it. Some of my friends who are art professors at Appalachian State University were very impressed. They said they didn’t get that kind of work out of some of their freshmen.”
Students have created the artwork through the school year, working on projects such as contour drawing, shadow studies, value studies, model drawings, visual narratives and the Artist Trading Card project.
While there are more than a hundred student works of art in the show, Hill said it was sometimes hard to get the children to leave the creations at school until the show.
“They wanted to take their pictures home to their parents, which is understandable,” he said. “The kids have responded fabulously to the show and are excited about it.”
Hill said one goal of the show, beyond showcasing the students’ talents, is to show community leaders the importance of having art in a school. Cloudland Elementary lost the full-time art teacher position a year ago when the long-time teacher retired and the position was not filled.
Hill volunteers at the school each Monday to give the students between 30 and 45 minutes of art time. He can work with two grade levels each week, which means there is a three-week period between art classes for the students.
“Sometimes when people think of school art, they think of crinkled construction paper that has been glued together,” he said. “I want to take something that can be seen as an afterthought and show that it is important and it does add value to education. Art has merit and it is important.”
Hill secured two Elks Club grants to help pay for the art show and the reception. The Carter County Board of Education meeting will be held immediately following the reception and gallery dedication.

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