Submitted by San Juan Islands Museum of Art
The students of the Spring Street International School are exhibiting selected works in their show “Creative Diversity” at the San Juan Islands Museum of Art during January.
Responses from visitors include:
• “Are you telling me this is High School art?”
• “These pieces are so imaginative and sophisticated.”
• “Each student has such a strong presence.”
• “I wish I could have had you as an art teacher.”
• “The show is absolutely beautiful, your students should be very proud of themselves.”
The artists include three seniors and four juniors, who are extremely gifted young women. Marieke Danniau, Yutong Du, Rain Gao, Danica Islam, Eden Light, Cameron Sinclair and Georgia Smith each chose their own mediums to display their visions and modes of expression. More than one has set her sights on a career in art.
Instructor Taylor Bruce said the group was thrilled when she announced this opportunity to exhibit their works. Bruce’s background is in illustration and she teaches middle school and high school students. She said she helps students develop their creative problem-solving skills by “learning to tap into the imagination coupled with honing one’s ability to evaluate ideas.” She considers an assignment successful if she gives seven students the same assignment, and seven very different pieces of art are designed.
Bruce said when students enter her classroom, her first goal is to help them develop a love of art and desire to explore their creativity. She tries to introduce students to as many different mediums and styles as possible. With each creative prompt, students develop their skills and learn to select the most appropriate medium and style in which to express their idea. Over time, they hone their physical skills and tend to gravitate to the medium that best expresses their ideas.
Spring Street International School offers four different art disciplines as electives: music, theater, video and visual arts. Students are allowed to choose their favorite for the year. They can switch each year if they desire; however, most students tend to stay with one discipline to gain mastery.
The students and instructor frequently visit the exhibitions at the museum of art for on-site studies and observations of new art. The SSIS student body includes students from the islands, Northwest, as well as distant countries like Rwanda, India and China.
“Creative Diversity” is part of the museum’s “Celebration for the Community,” which includes a retrospective of the art of Mary Ann Rock and Sam Connery. As all the works are from private collections, this is a rare opportunity to view the range of their pieces. Both exhibitions close on Jan. 21. The San Juan Islands Museum of Art is located at 540 Spring St. in Friday Harbor. The hours are 11-5 p.m., Friday-Monday through Jan. 21. Admission for these shows is free.
For more information, call 360-370-5050 or visit www.sjima.org. SJIMA has workshops and classes for families and beginning painters.