Painting outside the lines: Spectrum of student art on display at Nobles County Art Center; show opens tonight

WORTHINGTON -- Anything can inspire student artists in Worthington -- from major historical works of art to pop culture."It's amazing that Michelangelo learned how to paint one of the hardest things, the human body," said Eliseo Torres, a senior ...

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Students show off their artwork for the student art show at the Nobles County Art Center. Back, from left: Jon Faragher, Eliseo Torres, Megan Wass, Jada Nelsen, Rachel Moore, Jessica Garcia. Front, from left: Hser Eh, Than Tham Kyaw and Monica Rivera. Photo submitted by WHS Art Department

WORTHINGTON - Anything can inspire student artists in Worthington - from major historical works of art to pop culture.
“It’s amazing that Michelangelo learned how to paint one of the hardest things, the human body,” said Eliseo Torres, a senior at Worthington High School, just after he finished painting a human face in shade0s of black and dark blue in his art class. Torres and several of his classmates agreed that Michelangelo’s famous piece “The Creation of Adam,” located in the Sistine Chapel, is a source of inspiration.
Torres said his peers have encouraged him to pursue art in college. Though he’s still undecided, he said he likes art because he “gets attention from girls.”
One of his paintings will be on display at the Nobles County Art Center (NCAC) for the Student Show, premiering from 5-7 p.m. tonight. Hundreds of student pieces, from drawings to sculptures, will be showcased. Patrons will also be able to view the artwork during the NCAC’s normal hours from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. 
“It’s an honor for little kids to see their art with the big kids,” said David Blanchard, a middle school art teacher.
In the past, the NCAC’s student show included art from surrounding school districts, the number of pieces submitted has exploded as a result of increased enrollment rates. This year, the district’s art teachers hand-picked every piece in the show.
“Mrs. Holinka picked some of our pieces and said (they) met her standards to be in the art show,” WHS student Jessica Garcia said.\
Many students are looking forward to the show, high school art teacher Gail Holinka said.
“It’s exciting for them to know that their friends and family will see their work and be proud of what they have done,” Holinka said.
This is Holinka’s 27th year organizing the student show, and she understands their excitement - her own work was displayed at the show when she was a student in Worthington. 
Although many of her students will not pursue art in college, Holinka said she’s proud of those who do.
“It’s the greatest reward (as a teacher) to have kids pursue art, because then I know that they see the validity in art and they understand that it’s not just a fun class,” she said. 
Many Worthington students find inspiration from images they find on the Internet.
“A lot of them want to copy off the Internet and trace images they find,” said Jenn Buchholz, a teacher at WHS. 
Holinka tries to draw out her students’ creativity by teaching Surrealism, which she describes as creating art out of a person’s emotional reactions and impressions. For one assignment during the unit, students bring a poem to class and paint the way it makes them feel. 
Her students also learn about famous historical artists and study the creative process and artistic styles of certain time periods. 
“We want them to be creative thinkers when they graduate and to be able to think outside the box,” she said.

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