A Show for Emerging Artists

By Beacon Staff

As many artists will attest, self-expression is a lifelong endeavor. It begins at an early age and continues to grow as the artist learns and adapts to the world around them.

On April 4, the public is invited to join local high school students on their artistic journey at the Hockaday Museum of Art’s New Artists Show. The show includes pieces from students throughout the valley, who will show what they’ve learned through various types of media.

The show runs until May 4, and there is an opening reception on April 11.

Liz Moss, the Hockaday’s executive director, said the level of work presented at these annual student shows is a testament to the skill and care in the instruction they receive.

The pieces from the young artists are impressive, Moss said, and they include paintings, sculptures, jewelry, mixed media pieces and more.

The New Artists Show includes two awards, one for the People’s Choice and the other for Curator’s Choice. Moss, who will curate the show, said the People’s Choice award is given to the artist who earns the most votes for their piece.

Voting will take place during the opening reception, and the ballots will be counted the following day.

The award for Curator’s Choice will be announced during the opening reception, which begins at 5 p.m. and will include hors d’oeuvres and desserts prepared by the Flathead High School culinary arts program.

And though there are only two awards, Moss said all of the students who participate will have the opportunity to list a curated art show on their resumes for college and possibly add the piece to their artist portfolios.

“I think it’s phenomenal,” Moss said. “It’s a confidence-builder for them.”

Josh Lancaster, one of four art teachers from Glacier High School, said his students are at a pivotal point of their artistic development, since they are learning that art can be created for one’s own enjoyment but also as a way to create dialogue with the audience.

Having a public show drives this message home, Lancaster said, because the students will be able to see others interacting with their pieces.

“I think (the show) is super important because the students are just grasping the concept of using art as a form of (communication),” Lancaster said in an interview last week.

“Archie O’Ryan,” by Blake Smith, won the Curator’s Choice award in 2012 | Photo courtesy of the Hockaday Museum of Art

It’s also a great time for the students to learn how shows are curated, Lancaster said. Their pieces won’t be automatically grouped by school or class, and it is good for the young artists to see how the placement within the museum and proximity to other pieces helps with that dialogue, he said.

The Glacier High School students will be showing at least 20 pieces, Lancaster said, and they range from two-dimensional media, including graphic design, to the three-dimensional works in jewelry and sculpture.

Pieces will come from the school’s advanced placement programs for both two- and three-dimensional art, Lancaster added.

The New Artists Show also helps empower the students, Lancaster said, because it provides an example of how they can create art and have it carry a message.

“They learn to think, ‘I can do this and say something that I want to say,’” Lancaster said.

While the students certainly benefit from such an experience, the public audience also reaps rewards as well, because they get to see and be proud of the growing talent from a new generation of artists in the Flathead.

“The kids are amazing,” Moss said.

The New Artists Show opens on April 4 at the Hockaday Museum of Art. For more information, visit www.hockadaymuseum.org.

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.