Alex Escaja-Heiss

SBHS Fine Arts Festival

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Thursday April 21, 2016

South Burlington High School (SBHS) Visual and Performing Arts Department recently hosted their annual Fine Arts Festival. The event featured a comprehensive high school art show, along with kindergarten through twelfth grade themed displays. The festival was kicked off with a midday “Art Opening,” and then continued in the evening where guests visited the art studios, which were transformed into gallery-like spaces, with hundreds of pieces of artwork on display.

Along with the wonderful artwork on display, the festival provided many activities. Guests voted for their favorite pieces, and children had their faces painted by high school students while others explored tools and techniques at the clay station. Many guests crafted floral pins with paper, markers, and sequins with the assistance of SBHS art student volunteers. Throughout the evening, music students performed delightful instrumental and vocal selections.

For over a decade, South Burlington visual art teachers have showcased a collection of kindergarten through twelfth grade artwork as part of a theme. This year’s theme was botanicals, with the intent to show the developmental nature of the visual arts program through the grades. On this theme, advanced art students rendered beautiful flower still life images and painted “O’Keeffe” like compositions. Introductory art students worked with pastels to compose images of potted plants. Pottery students layered clay into arrangements of sea grass, leaves, vines or blossoms. Middle school students used watercolor paints to capture the essence of a single bloom, while elementary students had cheerful flower interpretations on display. Sculpture students made impressive arrangements with wild grape vines. The pieces were large, striking and designed to raise awareness about the ecological dangers of the invasive “creeping-climbing” plant species.

The SBHS students in attendance, along with their family members, had the chance to see the fine arts opportunities that lie ahead. According to SBHS art teacher Kimberly Kimball it was clear that the school’s fine arts students have been creating, collaborating, and practicing throughout the year. She added, “The exhibits and performances were outstanding. This was an exciting opportunity for everyone to see some of the best work achieved by the students at a variety of grade levels. Bravo to the students on their very successful authentic involvement in the artistic process!”