University Art Gallery holds event for high school students

Karla Foster, Courier Staff

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As the school year ends, that means that the current seniors who attend Western Illinois University for the art program will make room for the new artists to come in with their ideas and talent. Recently, the Art Gallery hosted the High School Invitational for high school students around the Macomb area to have their work be shown in a real gallery. These feature art from students who live in: West Central, Rushville-Industry, Monmouth-Roseville, Spoon River Valley, Illini West, Farmington Central and Mercer County. Over 40 pieces were selected for the event and each student was thrilled over the fact that their art was displayed for all of the Macomb area to seeand witness.

Tyler Hennings, the director of the art gallery and the host of the event, says that the event should help bring in more studentsto Western.

“One of the goals is to try to recruit some students and get them on campus and see the art department and see what we do, but it’s mostly to give these students an opportunity to have their works shown in this space,” Hennings said.

The smiles and the pride were shown around students and faculty as it was a time for these high schoolers to have their time inthe spotlight.

There were many different mediums of art that were shown in the invitational, such as digital, watercolor, sculpture and even fan art.

People who came to the event were very amazed with the work that the students brought in. High school art teachers were very proud of their students and felt like they were doing a great job in their field. One high school teacher, Kurt Fowler, says that he is very proud of his students taking the next step in their art career.

“Every teacher’s goal is to see those students succeed and so when you get to see your students work displayed in a gallery setting thats a big bonus, a big plus,” Fowler said.

It was pretty obvious that many teachers and faculty felt the same way when they saw their students work make it in the real world. With the art displayed at this event, it helps develop future skills that these student artists can use to enhance their future job opportunities.

With the school year coming to a close, we have to embrace what is coming next semester here at the University. These future students will be given the torch to represent Western artistically. They will expand the art department by helping it grow into a more well known department in our University. If you want to check out the work of the high school students, you can go to the art gallery from now until this Friday.