Students, families and friends packed the Anchorage Museum on Friday, March 2 to kick off the 40th annual Anchorage School District art exhibition.
Artwork by kindergartners through high school seniors will be on display all month at two Anchorage locations (Anchorage Museum and the Mall at Sears) as well as the Chugiak-Eagle River Branch Library.
In addition to artwork created by more than 70 individual Chugiak-Eagle River students from seven elementary schools and both middle and high schools, 30 Aplenglow Elementary sixth-graders made a banner with teapot paintings. Thirty-four Ravenwood fifth- and sixth-graders created a giant salmon with an eggshell mosaic.
Thirty Birchwood ABC Elementary students produced a group piece, and Chugiak Elementary created a sculpture of the letter “R” that was part of the word “ART,” which was on display at the museum. Twelve Chugiak Elementary students created the design of the bottle cap covered letter, and the rest of the school helped complete the piece.
Thirty-five Mirror Lake Middle School students worked on three group projects, one of which was a recycled piano that 14 kids painted to depict the school’s fine arts disciplines. The piano is on display at Anchorage Museum.
The art show is a great way to highlight all the talented students in the district, Eagle River High sophomore Jessa Montoya said.
Creating a piece for a public showing is completely different than turning in a class project, said Montoya, who, in addition to this year, had artwork in the ASD exhibit as an eighth-grader.
“It gives a lot of kids self-confidence,” she said.
The exhibit offers a chance too see a variety of work from all ages, Eagle River High freshman Annika Arvidson said.
“It’s interesting to see all the different levels of art and all the different mediums,” she said.
In his first year with artwork in the exhibit, Eagle River High senior Brandon Henderson said it was fun to be surrounded by loads of art enthusiasts throughout the district.
Henderson, who is in his sixth semester of pottery, created a bowl for display. Henderson said he seeks to find a balance between aesthetics and functionality in his pottery.
“The skill comes in making it look good and being usable at the same time,” he said.
With pottery, each creation is different, Henderson said.
“When you open up the kiln, it’s like Christmas morning,” he said. “You never know what you’re gonna get.”
Though Henderson takes some teasing from his parents for being in Advanced Placement art, he’s enjoyed pottery since his first class freshman year.
“I’ll probably continue with it after high school,” he said.
Montoya favors a different medium than clay.
“I prefer pens and painting,” she said. “I don’t like smearing things.”
Montoya, who has a paining on display in the Anchorage Museum, said she plans on taking AP art as a junior.
“I’ve been into art my entire life,” she said.
Arvidson, too, has been artistically inclined from a young age.
“Since I was a kid, I’d always be doodling,” she said.
One of Arvidson’s self-portraits, which is on display in the Anchorage Museum, took about five hours to finish, she said.
Her other self-portrait is hanging in the Chugiak-Eagle River Branch Library. But Arvidson drew it with markers instead of pencil and charcoal.
“It’s a differently style,” she said. “It’s a cartoon.”