All Final Friday artists got their start somewhere.
At this Final Friday, attendees can see the art of dozens of budding artists whose works will be on display in two different shows. Receptions for both shows happen Friday, too, meaning the artists and their proud parents also will be in attendance.
One is the annual USD 259 K-12 Art Show, which is on display in the Century II Concert Hall foyer and features 70 pieces of art created by Wichita elementary, middle and high school students. A reception for the show, which hangs through Friday, is from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Friday.
The other is Advanced Placement Art Exhibition, a display of work by the top 12 young artists at North High School. That show, which will remain on display through May 1 at the Fiber Studio, 418 S. Commerce, also will have a reception from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday.
“Our students are very talented and very creative,” said Shawn Chastain, the executive coordinator of fine arts for USD 259. “When I go to these exhibits, people do say, ‘Wow. I can’t believe this level of artwork is being created by someone who’s such a young age.”
The K-12 art show includes 70 pieces of work this year, Chastain said. Some are on display in the north end of the foyer. Some are at the south end. Another grouping hangs right across from the WichitaTix box office.
They’re paintings, watercolors, fiber pieces, sculptures and pottery. They range from simple crayon family portraits by the youngest artists to acrylic pieces layered with color and meaning by the high schoolers.
Best of all, each piece is accompanied by an artist’s statement written by the student.
“In this artwork, I wanted the sky to be a sunset, not just any sunset but a really colorful one,” wrote Griffith Elementary School fifth-grader Nicole Tran about her “recycled art” skyline. “Because what’s a world without colors?”
Under his whimsical self portrait, created with marker and crayon, Jardine Middle School seventh grader Michael Cook wrote, “I learned that everything can’t be perfect so just do your best.”
Each year, all 108 of the district’s art teachers are invited to submit their students’ work. The curator, who this year was North High School art teacher Micah Snider, collects and hangs the pieces. The reception for the show always is a big deal, populated with proud young artists and their families.
“I think it teaches them at a young age that their voice is important,” Snider said. “My high schoolers are excited to be in the show even though their work is hanging with kindergarteners’.”
Snider also is the curator for the AP show at the Fiber Studio. It will include 2D drawings, paintings and photography by the juniors and seniors enrolled in the school’s Advanced Placement arts class, which is reserved for the best and most experienced visual artists.
At the end of the year, the students are required to submit a portfolio filled with 24 pieces to the Advanced Placement College Board, and if they score high enough, they can potentially get college credit.
The students in the class all are talented artists, Snider said, and each has about six works in the show, ranging from moody pen-and-ink portraits to top-rate photography.
The show can be viewed during the reception on Friday, and the Fiber Studio also will be open from 4 to 7 p.m. on Sunday during a Commerce Street block party that will feature food trucks and street performers.
If you go
Final Friday student art shows
What: USD 259 K-12 Art Show hangs through Friday with a reception from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the Century II Concert Hall foyer, 225 W. Douglas.
AP Art Exhibition hangs through May 1 at the Fiber Studio, 418 S. Commerce, with a reception from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday.
How much: Admission is free