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Time for Annual Student and Faculty Art Exhibitions at Elmhurst College

Student exhibition, art tour and scholarships are aimed at supporting arts education; faculty exhibit showcases teachers as artists.

Elmhurst College will celebrate young artists and public-school art programs from across the Chicago area when it hosts the 14th annual High School Exhibition beginning Friday, Jan. 11.

The two-week exhibition, featuring artwork submitted by York and nine other high schools, will feature hundreds of paintings, prints, sculptures, videos and computer art, as well as works in other media.

Every January, the entire space of Elmhurst College’s Founders Lounge, from floor to ceiling, is hung with artwork created by talented high school students.

“This is both a wonderful display and a testament to the excellent teaching done by the art faculty in these high schools,” said Suellen Rocca, director of exhibits at Elmhurst College. “In this era of cutbacks in arts education, our exhibit is critically important because it supports high school art departments, visual-arts educators and the work of their students. We want to make the strongest statement possible about the value of art to human development.”

In addition to York High School, other high schools that will be represented include:

  • Addison Trail, Addison
  • East Leyden, Franklin Park
  • West Leyden, Northlake
  • Lyons Township, Western Springs and LaGrange
  • Maine West, Des Plaines
  • Morton East, Cicero
  • Morton West, Berwyn
  • Proviso West, Hillside
  • Willowbrook, Villa Park

During a reception to celebrate the artists featured in the exhibition, students will visit the college’s art studios and tour its renowned collection of Chicago Imagist and Abstractionist art. The college also will award several $2,000 scholarships to students from each high school.

The exhibition at Elmhurst College will run Jan. 11-23 at the Frick Center, 190 Prospect Ave. The Frick Center is open days and evenings. The artists reception will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16. Both the exhibition and the reception are free and open to the public.

District 205 Teacher-artist Exhibit

The District 205 Art Faculty Exhibition will be held Tuesday, Jan. 15 through Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Barbara A. Kieft Accelerator ArtSpace at Elmhurst College. The Opening Reception will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22. Gallery hours are noon to 4 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. 

“This is a fantastic opportunity for us to exhibit our work as professional artists and to also show our students the ‘real world’—we teach art and we also create art," said Jeune Winchester, art teacher at Bryan Middle School. "We are very fortunate and appreciative to work in a community that has a college ... museums and shops that support art.”

 Winchester will include a number of various raku-fired clay projects and a few mixed-media projects in this show, which has been taking place every other year since 2008.

“My favorite mediums are mixed and acrylic,” she said.

 “District 205 is blessed to have art faculty that are not only excellent teachers, but outstanding artists as well,” said York Art Department Chairman Tom Wolfe, who also will exhibit work. “A few years ago we organized our first faculty art show, recognizing that when we are creating our own art, we are growing artistically and maintaining our enthusiasm for the creative process.

"We feel that this is not only an important part of improving ourselves personally, but helps us grow as educational professionals as well. Our active enthusiasm and artistic skill in turn impacts our classrooms and students inspiring the next generation of artists.”

Wolfe’s favorite medium is watercolor, but he enjoys acrylic painting and graphite drawing as well.

Lincoln art teacher Kathy Bernahl favors oil paintings, while Churchville art teacher Ashley Skinner prefers photography. Sandburg’s Jen Leban enjoys mixed media—part drawing, part collage.

Also taking part in the show are Rich Edgley (York), Kelsey Manning (York), Maria Marotta (Emerson) and Teresa Neigel (Field and Conrad Fischer).

Source: Elmhurst College, Elmhurst District 205

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