Masks, paintings and music

Chugiak High students display art projects


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Aileen Page’s colorful “River Crossing” was included in the Chugiak High School Fine Arts Show on Jan. 30.

CINTHIA RITCHIE

More than 40 Chugiak High students displayed work at the Fine Arts Show on Jan. 30 in the school’s music hall.

The band, orchestra and choir performed numbers while parents and students browsed paintings, jewelry and pottery.

According to CHS assistant principal Colette Marshall, the show offered students an opportunity to let their creative energy run loose.

“I think you see another side of kids that you normally don’t see,” she said. “It allows them to follow their passions.”

Marshall sees arts participation as a way of helping students become well-rounded individuals.

“I played viola from sixth to ninth grade and still carry a deep appreciation of music because of that time,” she said.

Denise Barrett, CHS art instructor and department chair, encourages students to try different themes, to stretch their boundaries, to open themselves up to the unknown.

“I keep telling them, if it’s comfortable, don’t do it,” she said. “Art is about making yourself uncomfortable.”

This isn’t as easy as it sounds, she admitted.

“Some of them are afraid and stay in their safety zone,” she said. “So I tell them to push themselves, to be scared.”

What Barrett loves best is when a student makes a breakthrough.

“It’s very exciting and rewarding,” she said.

CHS junior Aileen Page had two large acrylic paintings in the show. “River Crossing,” a bright splash of dots inside a carefully formatted pattern, and “Evil,” an emotionally vivid piece utilizing shadow in a menacing yet thoughtful manner.

“I was amazed by the pieces after I finished,” she said.

Page began painting as a freshman after taking a class at Sitka Fine Arts Camp, which she attributed to opening her up to new forms and compositions.

She’s still searching for her own sense of style and likes to experiment with ideas and concepts.

“If it’s totally going screwy, I trash it or keep on working but don’t show anyone,” she said.

She’s currently working on an Advanced Placement class project on various types of shoe classifications.

“The ideas just pop into my head,” she said.

Special note goes out to Olivia Peterson for her masks and winter-scene paintings; Justine Kloth for “Large Self-Portrait;” Haley Shaw for “Complimentary;” and Megan Davis for her colorful and vivid masks.

And kudos to the band, orchestra and choir performances, with a special thanks to Luke Oldham’s deft and alluring voice during the choir’s rendition of “Dock of the Bay.”

 

Reach Star reporter Cinthia Ritchie at 694-2727 or cinthia.ritchie@alaskastar.com.

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