A variety of art created by Smith-Cotton High School students will be available for the public to view all day today in the upper floor of the school’s gym. Student art demonstrations are included during the exhibit as well as a special event at 5:30 p.m.
“We’ll have several categories of art on display,” Michael Shukers, SCHS art teacher, said Wednesday.
Students from Shukers’ class and that of Josh Heimsoth and Amanda Weiss will show ceramics, sculpture, drawing, painting, mixed media and digital photography and design. Weiss is the full-time Art-I teacher and Heimsoth and Shukers both teach classes from Art-I through College Prep.
“We will have student demonstrators showing art techniques, and talking to the public from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.,” he added. “We will have a semi-unannounced special event happening around 5:30 p.m.; if anyone wants to pop in and see something kind of fun.”
He added that demos will include digital art and design, pottery, drawing and painting techniques. Twenty students will be participating in the demonstrations.
This year’s show has a bigger selection of large-scale work than in the past.
“Which is very exciting,” Shukers noted. “I introduced a new drawing assignment called ‘Go Bigger or Go Home.’ Paper just simply isn’t big enough any more. We are actually drawing on construction drywall.
” … Drywall is actually an excellent substrate for drawing, using chalk, charcoal and virtually any other art medium,” he added. “It’s a really stable, viable board.”
Shukers’s added that he’s encouraged the students each year to create larger art pieces.
“This year we’re really going big now,” he said.
Several seniors in the show have grown in the arts while at S-C. Gage Stewart has created several large drawings on drywall. He also has a table full of pottery and ceramic pieces, all created this year.
“Gage is a very talented and creative art student,” Shukers said. “Which is nice to have technique and creativity working together. He’s one of my ‘Go Bigger or Go Home’ students.
“He produced two assignments based on that using charcoal,” he added. “He does works of art that are just crazy huge.”
Shukers said Stewart is also a football player and will be leaving to join the United States Air Force in June.
“He’s a great kid,” Shukers said. “I’ve had the pleasure to teach him since his ninth grade year and to watch him develop and grow as an artist. He was good coming in, and he’s walking out an excellent artist that would challenge anyone at a freshman or sophomore level at college.”
“I have three works on drywall, the elk, the Zeus head and the train,” Stewart said. “The train is getting donated to the Katy Depot. So, it will be there after the art show.
“I like large-scale charcoal drawings, and sort of smaller-scaled colored pencil drawings,” he added.
Stewart said he enjoys art because it keeps his mind busy. He enjoys creating “high-detailed” pieces.
“It challenges me each time, to do something bigger and more detailed,” he noted. “Something I’ve never done before.”
His favorite piece in the show is the five-foot-tall Zeus head, a charcoal drawing.
Kylee McPhail has also grown while taking art classes at S-C. Shukers said she began with a simple style and has developed a more complex technique.
“(She) has been a incredibly productive student who has really grown …” he noted. “She is drawing very complex drawings and has also branched out into painting and digital drawing design.”
Shukers also said he was surprised by the work of Elias Kemp, who recently had a “striking” outdoor installation at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg.
“That piece spoke volumes about several personal and political issues,” he noted. “He really put out a lot of effort for that show and for that contest.
“They were silhouettes of ax men, basically cutting themselves down,” Shukers added. “They were attached to the trees and they were chopping the tree.”
Kemp will have work in the S-C Student Art Show today and will also be demonstrating.
S-C senior Drew Patrick was busy Wednesday arranging her pottery and ceramic pieces on a table on the upper level of the gym for today’s show. She was particularly proud of a platter imprinted with leaves. She used glass while creating it, which darkened the glaze.
“After I painted on the glaze, I used glass marbles and put them in different designs over my texture,” she said. “When they melted it really showed off that texture and made the glaze thin out and burned it. So, it turned a really cool color.”
Ryan Collins, also a senior, arranged his two-dimensional work on easels Wednesday. He said he enjoyed working with ink, graphite, charcoal and colored pencil. He creates work from “what he sees and what he likes.”
“Or what I’m interested in,” he added. “As you can tell, I’m interested in a lot of cartoons, comic books and animation.”
Some of the work he is showing today is created with ink and copic sketch marker, ink pen and graphite, and colored pencil and graphite.
Shukers said artwork was judged Wednesday evening with first, second, third, best of category, and honorable mentions awarded in each medium along with a Principal’s Choice award.
SCHS Student Art Show will run from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. today in the upper level of the school’s gym, 2010 Tiger Pride Blvd. There will be student demonstrations throughout the day with a special event at 5:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend.
Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 or @flbemiss; photos by Faith Bemiss | Democrat