The Shawnee Arts Council will be holding a professionally designed and curated "K-12" public school gallery show on May 3rd, 2019. There will be a reception for students and families from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. Another "21+" adults and donors reception will be held from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. This free show will be held at the downtown art studio of local artist and private art instructor LeAnne Henry Wright at 112 ½ E. Main Street.

The show has been a collaborative effort between local artists, art teachers and four Shawnee public schools. Students from Grove, Sequoyah, Bethel and Shawnee Middle schools have been selected to participate. Projects were planned and prepared for each classroom by an art committee formed by the arts council that were intended to teach specific lessons or require unique problem solving.

Sequoyah’s fourth grade students were given squares of Masonite along with a small square of a larger picture. Students were not shown the larger picture. This required these young students to not only enlarge a picture, but also to paint a non-representational image.

“It was fun listening to some students trying to guess what the big picture was,” said Heather Dunn, art teacher at Sequoyah.

William Malouf’s high school classes at Bethel created two large paintings in a modern, abstract style as a lesson in Modernism.

“I was curious to see how the students would do. I thought the 9th grade would be fine, but the upperclassmen get a little set in their ways. Honesty, they have been working on realism for the last two years and it’s hard for them to switch,” said Malouf.

Summer Proffer, art teacher at Grove, had 8th-grade students complete “string art” projects. This project was designed to teach students about positive and negative space. The art committee sent large stained boards with nailed, inverse-image silhouettes to the school.

“I think they were worried about perfection at the beginning but then, when they began to relax and not worry so much about perfection, it became more fun.”

Two of the pieces to be included in the show were completed by the community. The Shawnee Arts Council asked children to participate in creating two “string art” pictures during SEFF’s recent downtown Redbud Festival.

The show will be professionally hung and all work will be offered for sale. All donations and proceeds from art sales will be divided equally between the participating schools to help teachers prepare for next school year. The event is being co-sponsored by Emmanuel Episcopal Church.