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Episode 85: Student Creativity Comes Alive Through the Arts

They have talent beyond their years and student artists are getting the opportunity to display their works of art during a Districtwide Art Show through the end of May.

On this episode of the Supercast, we take you inside the West Jordan City Library where the Art Show is taking place. There you will find some incredible middle and high school student artwork featuring everything from paintings and drawings to sculptures and photography. The pieces are unique and colorful, all created by our very own Jordan School District student artists.

The works of art will be on display in the lobby of the library.

  • April 19-30 - High School Art Show
  • May 10-21 - Middle School Art Show

Audio Transcription

Anthony Godfrey:
Hello and welcome to the Supercast. I'm your host, Superintendent Anthony Godfrey. They have talents beyond their years and these student artists are getting the opportunity to display their works of art during a districtwide art show. On this episode of the Supercast, we take you inside the West Jordan City Library, where the art show was taking place. There you will find some incredible middle and high school student artwork featuring everything from paintings and drawings to sculptures and photography. The pieces are unique and colorful, all created by our very own Jordan School District student artists.

Anthony Godfrey:
We're here at the Viridian at the West Jordan Library with Norm Emerson, the Fine Arts Consultant for Jordan School District. And we're here among many great works of art from Jordan School District students. Tell me about this.

Norm Emerson:
Well, all year long, these students have been preparing. We talked to the teachers at the very beginning of the school year about the dates and the different categories that we have for the show. We have a 2d, a 3d and a photography category. And so throughout the school year, these students are just working hard and producing these works of art. And then each school has given an allocation of how many entries they can submit for the art show. And so, really what's represented here is really the cream of the crop. And so the teacher submit these items and then we bring into professional artists to judge. And they do so and they select a Best in Show in the three categories in 2d, 3d, and photography, and then a number of Awards of Merit and Honorable Mention.  So altogether we've had close to 80 entries.

Anthony Godfrey:
It's exciting to be able to showcase student artwork like this.

Norm Emerson:
Yes, for sure. And not only is it exciting for us. As we've been setting up the art show, and I've had it up for a few days, we've seen many members of the community come over and spend a lot of time really enjoying these works of art and reading the students statements that they've written. Each work has a label where the students have had a chance to write an artist statement. And I think it's a good thing for us, you know, for the opportunity for the students. I think it's a good thing for the library and the community as well. And we appreciate the library for hosting it.

Anthony Godfrey:
I've always looked forward to these shows and I'm always amazed at the level of creativity. But even more than that, the level of skill that students have. It's really remarkable to be a teenager and to have this level of ability.

Norm Emerson:
Well, exactly. I think that's a tribute to the amazing, really just dedicated, skilled teachers that we have. And then of course, the hard work and dedication of these students, many of whom are, or even thinking of having a career in the arts at this point. A lot of these students have entered their work in the Springville Arts Museum Show, which is a very prestigious show through the Springville Arts Museum and have had their work recognized there. And so, what we're hoping for is that these students will truly recognize their talents and whether or not they go on to a career in the arts, or just have it as a way to enrich their lives. We're just really pretty amazed by the work that they do.

Anthony Godfrey:
A great career, a great hobby, whatever they choose. There's a lot to be gained from having an artistic and creative aspect to life.

Norm Emerson:
Well, that's right. I think it's been interesting over the last year. I know a lot of friends and family members personally that throughout the course of the shutdown and the time that we were all in quarantine, many of them turned to the arts throughout that time. And many of them turned to the visual arts. And so I think that they do have a really critically important role in our lives. And yes,  think it's important what they're involved in.

Anthony Godfrey:
All right. Well, thank you very much for everything you do to support students. You're right. We have tremendous teachers who spark that creativity and help provide those skills and, and students were working really hard and I'm excited to talk with them and see their works of art. So thanks again for all you do to help support them.

Norm Emerson:
Thanks for coming and thanks for supporting the program and supporting these credit kids.

Anthony Godfrey:
Before we talk about individual pieces of art, we're here with the five students from Jordan School District, just to talk with them about art. And then we'll take a look at each of their individual pieces. How many of you are considering a career in the arts? All right. A couple of you.

Student:
I would definitely love to pursue a career in art. I just have not decided exactly what art career I'd be doing, if that be concept art or fine art. But yes, I would definitely like to be able to try it, especially with the success I've had recently. I think it would be really good for me.

Student:
Yes, definitely something that I want to do. A dream job, National Geographic, of course, the photo journalist, but that's definitely far down the line.

Anthony Godfrey:
For those of you who don't view it as a career, is it a hobby that you think you'll continue throughout your life?

Student:
Yeah, absolutely. My dad recently built a shop in our backyard, and I think that I want to buy myself a kiln, buy myself a wheel too, to keep working on my ceramics.

Student:
I'm definitely going to continue painting or drawing or doing whatever artistically, no matter where I am or how old I get. I do want to consider minoring in art or visual arts in college. B

ut for sure, I'm going to keep doing it as a hobby. It's just something that I can do to relax or get my mind off of other stuff. And I can just make something that other people would also like appreciate and just have fun seeing.

Anthony Godfrey:
How about you?

Student:
I see this more as a lifestyle choice. I hope one day to open up a pottery studio so I can share my interests and hobbies with other people who would be interested in learning how to create these ceramic pieces.

Anthony Godfrey:
Great. Does anyone have a family member that kind of inspired you to get involved in art?

Student:
I actually have an older sister who majored in illustration and she's taught me a lot about like fine art and digital art. So she has kind of introduced me to lots of parts of the art world, I guess.

Anthony Godfrey:
Great. Stay with us when we come back, more with our student artists and the information about how you can see some of this artwork for yourself.

Break:
It is one of the most prestigious academic achievement programs available for high school students. And we're proud to say it's coming back to Jordan School District. We're talking about the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program, which will be located at West Jordan High School. The IB Program supports personal and academic achievement for students at the very highest level. IB diploma courses take place during a student's junior and senior year in high school. All sophomores are invited to consider the IB program for next year. There are no prerequisites for IB and interested middle school students can start preparing now. Students with the IB diploma have a better chance at getting into some of the most prestigious universities in the world. For more information, or to find out if your team is a good candidate for IB, visit http://ib.jordandistrict.org, or call West Jordan High School.

Anthony Godfrey:
Let's start with you. Let's go to your piece of art and then we'll I'll track each down. You guys are awesome. Tell me your name.

Student:
My name is Annie Lee.

Anthony Godfrey:
Alright. And can you describe for those listening, what I'm looking at? This is really stunning. It's really incredible. The level of skill is really something. Tell me about this painting.

Student:
So the inspiration for this came from my art teacher. She gave us a prompt with a music sheet and it had some lyrics and in it was dessert. So I went with an ice cream and I want it to have some kind of abstract, unrealistic background with it. So it's just all like cotton candy, dessert, things that will give you diabetes if you eat too much of it, theme. But I did this because we have to have a sustained investigation or a question you're trying to answer. So mine is, what happens when two different perspectives collide. So basically if you look at the painting, the ice cream is a very, I wouldn't say hyper-realistic, but it's pretty realistic. And then there's little creatures on it that are 2d, like sticker. So it's just a contrast of when someone's perspective and another one's perspective collide, and they're just different. And you can either choose to embrace it and make it better than it was before, or you can clash and make it bad. It also had a lot of implications on current events like COVID. If you want me to explain, that's like another whole spiel.

Anthony Godfrey:
Well, there, there are obviously a lot of layers to the work. This looks great. And I really love the green, one of my favorites. I love the surrealists and this is there's a lot that's surreal about this. The glistening ice cream is really incredible. It really draws you in. It's a berry ice cream and a huge waffle cone. There's chocolate syrup everywhere, cotton candy clouds, a very disturbing moon with a pig jumping over it, plus the 2d stickers you described. I also love the pink and the brown colors. The composition it's just, it's really stunning.

Student:
Thank you.

Anthony Godfrey:
Tell me your name.

Student:
My name is Amber.

Anthony Godfrey:
Amber. Tell me about this piece of art here.

Student:
So it is an interactive piece. It's supposed to be a self portrait of me. But I made it in a way where the face can split into three different parts with a series of pole strips. Since I've been working with pop-up kind of art, I just integrated that in the art that I'm doing now and underneath the face is a brain made of cogs and wires. And it's got  a bunch of veiny lines going through it to represent the brain passageways and a drug.

Anthony Godfrey:
This this is very compelling. Is this graphite on paper?

Student:
Yeah. So the face is made of graphite and then the brain with the gears and stuff, and it is just all ink.

Anthony Godfrey:
And what inspired you to make this particular piece?

Student:
In my  AP class, I have a driving inquiry and it's about technology and how it affects the mind and body. That's kind of what it is. It's playing with the idea that technology has a drug and it parallels with addiction and normal drugs that people use too.

Anthony Godfrey::
Okay. That's a fascinating theme and you've captured it extremely well. Inside the head, all the gears and the technology, and that really pulls you in, but then there's also this biological thread through it, this red vein or tissue. And now I can pull on this tab at the bottom? Am I supposed to be able to move this? Oh wow, it looks fantastic, and the award of excellence is well-deserved.

Student:
Thank you very much.

Anthony Godfrey:
Thank you. What's your name?

Student:
My name is Fisher Darton.

Anthony Godfrey:
Okay, Fisher, tell me about this piece.

Student:
Okay. Well, first, I just started out with a cylinder and then I started to just shape it to whatever my mind could come up with. And then after I finished shaping it, I decided a lid would look nice on it. So this piece ,I wish I could take it out to let you feel, but it's super textured and it feels like rough but smooth at the same time. And it almost feels bubbly and it's thicker on the bottom and then it thins out at the top into a kind of like a bottle. Then it's got a triangular lid with a triangle top on it. And I carved lines into the body, little grooves that you can feel. And then I matched that same design on the lid.

Anthony Godfrey:
It really has an ancient feel to it, like it's been unearthed after many, many years. Is that a look you were going for?

Student:
Yeah, that's exactly what I was going for. I was hoping that the green would turn out more evergreen rather than the seaweed green that it looks, and that the blacks turned out blacker, but this was the look that I was initially going for.

Anthony Godfrey:
As it is, it's a lidded vase, and it looks like a deep purple as opposed to a black and a sage green. And I think it all goes together very well. And like I said, it looks weathered, it looks ancient. And for that reason it looks compelling. Like it holds some sort of secret or something mystical. I think it's really cool.

Student:
Yeah. It definitely looks like it's holding one of my ancestors ashes in it.

Anthony Godfrey:
Yeah, for sure. It could hold the ashes of a powerful ancestor I would say, very neatly. What inspired you to do this?

Student:
Really, just my own creative mind. I named this The Outset and it's kind of the outset of my career. This was the first phase where I really pushed myself to try something new. I tried to make the walls as thin as possible, and I tried to just make it look neat. Make it look old, like you said, and I really just wanted to make this one look good.

Anthony Godfrey:
All right. Thank you very much. Tell me your name.

Student:
Bailey Johnson.

Anthony Godfrey:
Bailey. Tell us about the piece of art that we're looking at here.

Student:
So it's a turtle teapot. We were assigned to make a functioning teapot that had a stopper on the inside, so when you pour it, it has a stopper and the lid won't fall off. I made mine into a green turtle and the tea pours out the mouth. It has little feet on the bottom so that the turtle floats up. Then there's the feet on the sides too. So it has eight feet. It doesn't look like it has eight feet, but it really does it.

Anthony Godfrey:
I think it's really cool. It does look like it's floating and it's head is kind of turned up. It's a pale green, like a seafoam green and the mouth is open. What is going through the turtle's little brain right now?

Student:
There's tea coming out of my mouth. I don't know.

Anthony Godfrey:
Why is hot tea coming out of my mouth? That's a good thing for him to be worried about. And I see the ribbon for Best in Show 3d. That's gotta feel pretty good.

Student:
I didn't think I would win really, my art teacher just said, Hey, I'm going to put this in the art show. And I said, okay, whatever. She basically did everything else, but I was really proud of myself when I won. I was so excited and I called my mom to say, Guess what!

Anthony Godfrey
Well, you should be proud. I think it looks really great. And it's going to look great on the shelf for years to come. Thank you very much.

Student:
Thank you.

Anthony Godfrey:
All right. Tell me your name.

Student:
My name is Dustin West.

Anthony Godfrey:
And so this is a mixed media. Tell me about your piece of art.

Student:
We had a themed project for photography  at the time. And this is my friend, Anthony. It was kind of his idea with this photo.

Anthony Godfrey:
Does this make you want to create more photography like this, with words included on the on the photo.

Student
I think this is just kind of putting in the direction of becoming a photo journalist. So even with words or without words, I feel like  just seeing an image like this, it kind of puts in the viewer's perspective, what comes out of this image and what they should think and what kind of words or feelings that provoke when they see this image.

Anthony Godfrey:
How did you put the words on top? Did you do that electronically? Or how did that work?

Student:
Yeah, so I did the words on his back. I did them in Photoshop, so I can actually paint them on his skin. We didn't have very much time. We were super limited, but in the photo, as you can see there, the knot in it is stitched in there. I did that by hand, but the rest of it is a media like a Photoshop.

Anthony Godfrey:
So the word not is stitching with red thread over the black letters. Is that right?

Student:
Yeah.

Anthony Godfrey:
And what did your friend think when he first saw this piece?

Student:
When he first saw it, he thought it was just  thought provoking is the wording is.

Anthony Godfrey:
I think it's very compelling. It really draws you in. I like how it shadowy around the edges. And so it really pulls you into the middle and to your friend and then the knot in the center being stitched. I don't know. There are different layers to it, quite literally. And then there's a lot to explore with it. So I really like it.

Student:
It does have a heavy vignette on it. I think that it's just kind of tied together with a black and white picture. Focusing on the wording is what I was trying to go for with the vignette and it being so centered on the wording and his back. And you can still see how his arms are. You can see how he's positioned and you can see the wording and it just kind of makes it a deeper image than it should be.

Anthony Godfrey:
Well, that's great. You've done really well with it. It's like I said, a very compelling piece and no surprise that you're Best in Show for photography. So thank you. Great work.

Student:
Thank you. I appreciate that. I didn't even expect to win, but it does feel good.

Anthony Godfrey:
Definitely. Definitely. The works of art will be on display in the lobby of the library during regular hours, April 19th through the 30th is the High School Art Show and the Middle School Art Show will take place from May 10th to the 21st. Thanks for joining us for another episode of the Supercast. Remember, education is the most important thing you'll do today. We'll see you out there.

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