'Young at Art' features student work
Art adventure Gallery is featuring art from Madras High School students in an exhibit entitled "Young at Art," which showcases assignments from the high school art classes, as well as photographs from the photography class.
Despite the work coming from assigned concepts, MHS art teacher Bleu Turrell said the point is for the artwork to differ and be creative.
"I assign a core idea that we are after," he said. "Then I give some rough parameters." From there, Turrell said it is up to the students to run with the concept.
Turrell used the "textured hands" assignment, some of which can be seen in the exhibit, as an example.
For the assignment, students were asked to add texture to a traced version of their hand, but each piece varies from another. The assignment gets students thinking about how texture plays into creating an illusion, but still allows them to think outside the box when it comes to the textures they choose.
One of the pieces in the exhibit, for example, depicts a student's fingers as a pencil, with crisp clean lines and smooth surfaces, while another depicts a finger with scales covering it from top to bottom and another fuzzy with fur.
"The basis of all illusionary drawing is ... how to articulate and create the illusion texture," Turrell said.
Many of the students that come into Turrell's classes have never had any art experience with art in middle school, unless they come from another district, and he tailors his classes so students can start from the beginning.
The art program has four classes, beginning with Art 1 then Art 2; beyond that is Advanced Art and Advanced Ceramics.
Art 1 focuses on two-dimensional art, such as painting and drawing, said Turrell. Art 2 is where many create the "textured hands," with the idea being that students begin to think about three-dimensional art through illusionary drawing. This helps them later on when they begin to get into making three-dimensional works in the advanced classes.
Turrell mentioned that while Advanced Ceramics focuses on creating three-dimensional pieces of art, it is important that the students have drawing skills to sketch out new projects. Turrell has the class spend five to eight minutes at the beginning of each class drawing things that get them thinking about future assignments.
Aside from his classes, Turrell said, "Some students will come and visit me and work on things individually."
Turrell explained that a student doesn't have to be in one of his classes to come into the space and work, he wants to make sure that students have a space to work and resources to work with. He does have one rule though — students must be productive.
Turrell hosts Art Club in his classroom on Wednesdays during the lunch period. It is a time where students can come in and work on independent projects, aside from what they are working on in class. He also makes his room available to students after school on Wednesdays, until about 4:15.
The art in the gallery exhibit — as well as art that went out to the Warm Springs museum at the same time as Art Adventure Gallery — came out of a folder that Turrell keeps of students' work. He said that when he sees something in one of his classes that he thinks has potential he asks the students privately, after it is graded, if he can keep the work in his folder for future display, either in the case in the hall, or in exhibits like the gallery.
To see the students' work, guests can visit Art Adventure Gallery at 185 SW Fifth St., from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or by appointment on Saturdays.