Celebrating their differences with art – School News Network

Godwin Heights – Senior Natalie Moore admits the artwork on the stage at The Stray cafe isn’t her typical style.

“Initially I was going to do something with me lying there and crying with the tears creating a river and having a lot more blues,” Natalie said. “But I decided to show a happier side of myself instead. I wanted to try something new.”

Instead, his piece, which was part of the recent “Identity” exhibit at Wyoming’s The Stray, a music and art venue, features vibrant colors bursting from his head, bringing color and life to flowers below.

“It really paints a more positive side of me,” Natalie said. “It shows a lighter way and through the process I was able to develop a different kind of awareness of who I am.”

Building a collaboration

When The Stray opened its doors last fall, one of the owners’ goals was to create community collaborations. Hunter VanKlompenberg, the cafe’s director of music and arts, said his team reached out to Godwin High School art teacher Deanne Basse to find ways to collaborate.

“Part of our goal is to be a place that’s accessible to all ages and to provide a space for teens to showcase their creative gifts,” VanKlompenberg said. “With Godwin just down the street and sharing the same neighborhood, it felt like there was a bridge to be built between us. This is our first collaborative event together and we hope to have more in the future. coming.

Basse said the district’s art team is excited about the opportunity to showcase student work outside of a school setting. The Basse students had just started drawing the face with other grades having also done similar projects.

“We had just started working on a skill of drawing eyes where the student looks into the eyes and focuses on that feature,” Basse said, adding that the idea for the ‘Identity’ exhibit came from there because it was an opportunity to celebrate everyone’s differences. .

“It seemed very appropriate because what have you seen in the last two years because of the masks?” said Bass. “That was everyone’s eyes and how expressive those ideas could be.”

“Part of our goal is to be a place accessible to all ages and to provide space for teenagers to showcase their creative gifts.”

– Hunter VanKlompenberg, music and arts director for The Stray cafe’

A compilation of several student works on the eyes was produced for the “Identity” exhibition. Basse said she also had her two painting classes work on self-portraits. For some students, like Imani Beasley in senior year, it was not an easy task to accomplish.

“I didn’t want to do it,” Imani said. “I already knew that I liked to draw others, but I don’t like to draw myself.”

Then she decided to use the pointillism technique, using small dots to construct the final piece. Imani said she didn’t realize how time-consuming pointillism was – and it’s something she has no plans to do again.

“As with all colors, I’m a colorful person and I wanted to portray that,” Imani said. “I didn’t really know how it was going to turn out, but it came together and represents my personality.”

Share who they are

The exhibit featured the compilation as well as a selection of K-12 artwork. And just as each person’s identity is unique, so were their paintings.

Ninth-grader Ava Niewiek was a triplet, but her two siblings, Patrick and Joseph, died at birth. However, she always felt that her brothers were her guardian angels, which is why her painting depicts her with two halos and wrapped in two different colored wings.

“I always knew and felt they were a part of me,” Ava said. “Seeing it on paper gave him more connection.” For Katie Wise, her love of makeup inspired her piece of a young woman surrounded by blue and purple clouds.

“My article is about how you can always aim to do better than what you were doing,” she said, “whether it’s makeup or whatever you’re doing.”

Kayleen C. Rice