Students display talent at art show

Posted: Sunday, January 07, 2001

"I love getting dirty when I do stuff," said Rebecca Canaday, as she demonstrated charcoal drawing Saturday afternoon during the Second Annual Juneau-Douglas High School Art Show at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum.

Canaday's enthusiasm for art bubbled over as she sketched away, working from a black and white photo of a rock climber. "I like black and white; you can see the shadows better," said Canaday, who has done some rock climbing herself and has been drawing since she was five.

Canaday's piece in the show is an oil, a ship on a swirling sea. "I like spirals," she said.

Other pieces in the show have as their subjects a mermaid trapped behind glass, a rustic Orthodox church, nudes, friends, pets, polar bears and northern lights. There's a box in the form of a swan, a dragon oil lamp and a cookie jar shaped like a cabin.

Kerry Katasse, 17, is positive art will be her life. Katasse demonstrates how linoleum, cedar and Plexiglas can be etched for prints, and how she made her own print, a traditional summer kimono topped with a Japanese-animation-style head.

"I wanted to make something elegant but still my style. I like Japanese culture and animation. I want to be an artist, living in Japan and making my own animated series. I will be famous and it will be awesome," Katasse said.

Some students, like Owen Miller, 17, have already turned semi-professional. Miller stacked a few of his Hidden Lake Pottery business cards next to the piece he was working on, which he had christened a "staged fountain."

The piece, nearly 30 inches tall, was created in three sections and stacked. "I used calipers to make sure the top of one piece fit the bottom of the next," Miller said. Each section was turned on a potter's wheel, as were the cups which would hold the water like a series of leaking balconies spiraled around the body.

"I'm anxious to see it done, and I already told him it's mine," said Owen's mother, Louise, hovering as he attached cup halves to staggered openings.

"I took a drawing and painting class, but I felt restricted," Owen said. "I like ceramics the best."

After Owen purchased a used kiln and a used wheel about a year ago and turned the laundry room into his studio, "He got good really quick," Louise Miller said. Owen now sells his pitchers, mugs and bowls at craft fairs, takes special orders and gives private lessons.

Owen plans to be a pilot, but finds ceramics "a good release; (a way) to get away from it all."

The show displays work from students in the art classes of Jan Neimeyer and Tom Manning. Neimeyer teachers ceramics, graphic design and print-making. Manning teaches two-dimensional art such as drawing and painting, including work in the expressive mediums of pastels and charcoal.

Although this is only the second annual, having an annual show is a good artistic carrot, Neimeyer said. It helps students to plan ahead and develop at an accelerated pace. "After the first show, they were already talking about what they might do for next year," she said.

Jenny Kern, 16, was demonstrating charcoal, working from a black and white photo of a tulip. "This is my first year in an art class, so charcoal is what I am doing best so far," Kern said.

Getting into art classes at JDHS is not easy, because upper-level students have priority for these popular electives, Kern said. "I had to turn in a portfolio. Or you have to get a letter of recommendation from a teacher in middle school."

Senior James Voelckers, 18, has a large plate, a bowl and a bust in the show. "Doing self-portraiture is pretty interesting," he said of the bust. "It's hard getting your proportions right. 'No the ear is not there; it's somewhere else.' It takes a lot of patience. You look in a mirror and try to make what you have in your hands look like what's in the mirror," Voelckers said, his hands dripping clay.

The Second Annual Juneau-Douglas High School Art Show opened Dec. 15 and will continue through Jan 27. The show is open Friday and Saturday afternoons. For more information call 586-3572.

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