Smart phones, art shows, and teenage boys don’t often mix, but this year’s interactive event at De Smet Jesuit requires all three.
Centering on the theme, “Appreciate art. Look up.” the Annual Student Art Show invites viewers to connect with artworks on display and scan QR codes that link them to a variety of prompts. Participants might watch a 15-second time lapse video of an artist at work or listen to an audio recording from Fr. Burshek, S.J. A quick question or agree/disagree response enters them into a chance to win prizes, but more importantly takes them one step farther down a path to appreciate and engage with art.
“We’re trying to do things in different ways,” said Laurie Kohler, veteran art teacher with more than 25 years at De Smet Jesuit. “One goal of the art show is to beautify the school and remind the community of the impact art can have.”
After a season of remote learning that forced virtual opportunities, many teachers and students are exploring even more creative ways to incorporate technology into formerly traditional situations. When planning this year’s art show, Mrs. Kohler and Mrs. Ledbetter realized that encouraging students to use their cell phones could actually increase engagement with artwork by their peers.
“We want to really showcase our student artworks, and especially feature the seniors,” said Emily Ledbetter, fellow art teacher. “We’d like to share their creative accomplishments with the student body.” This can be challenging when competing for attention in a world full of distractions. By offering a mobile friendly element to the art display, they hope to see more students pause in the hallways and notice the art around them.
Switching classrooms (because of pandemic distancing guidelines) has also been beneficial, exposing students who might not normally take an art class to the art studio classrooms. “Fine Arts are alive and well,” said Mrs. Kohler, “but with studios tucked at the end of the third floor, that doesn’t always get seen.”
The interactive art show displays from April 26-May 7 on the second floor and into Emerson Lobby as part of Fine Arts Week (read more here). The community is invited to attend the event on Sunday, May 2, from 12 noon-3 p.m. Sprinkled throughout the art display, visitors can discover five chances to scan QR codes that not only enter them into a prize drawing, but also introduces them to key lessons art can help us learn.
The arts help us:
1. To find passion.
2. To celebrate multiple perspectives.
3. To appreciate beauty.
4. To say what cannot be said.
5. To solve problems creatively.
Appreciate art. Look up.