By Kiara Paninos
Big Horn High School
BIG HORN — Joining the ranks of various artists to come before them, art students of Big Horn High School and Middle School displayed their artwork at The Brinton Museum March 12-22. An assortment of various famous artists have previously been featured at The Brinton, including Frederic Remington and Charlie Russell. Such a prestigious history associated with the museum makes the opportunity for students to display their artwork there a privilege.
Each student enrolled in an art class selected a piece that they had created during the year to enter in the show. Additionally, the high schoolers wrote an explanation of the piece in the form of an artist’s statement, which was made available to the public in a handout at the exhibit.
Caroline Haile, a freshman, wrote in her artist’s statement, “As a student in the Big Horn art program, I strive to create my best work in everything I do, such as this piece here. This was an assignment, of course, as is most everything I’ve created in the class. To me, this work feels solid in a fluid community of the arts. That may be because I personally control what is there and what is not.”
As the students had completed six total projects this school year, including an individually developed plan geared toward the state art competition, the artwork on display represented a wide range of styles.
Several of the projects were self-portraits of the students both realistically drawn and surreal. Another project was centered on morphing one realistic object into another realistic object.
Kim Lassiter, the art teacher at the Big Horn schools, initiated the idea to display student art and put the show into action at The Brinton. Lassiter worked with Emma Sundberg, curatorial assistant at The Brinton, to organize the pieces professionally and offer an opportunity for the students participating to get a behind-the-scenes look at an art show.
Lassiter’s idea was inspired by a similar program offered to the younger students on campus.
“The elementary does an art show there every other year, so why shouldn’t the high school or middle school?” Lassiter asked.
This also allowed Lassiter to have the students’ best work displayed so that particular art pieces could be easily selected to be entered in the state art competition. Jason Lanka, a professor in the art department at Sheridan College, then used his knowledge and experience in the arts to determine which pieces would be entered at state art.
The students appreciated having their artwork displayed in a setting that also features works from some of the more renowned Western artists.
“Having my artwork displayed is a great privilege for me to experience,” BHHS junior Avery McCurry said. Similarly, sophomore Barak Broad said that he “thinks it’s a great opportunity to advance in my art, and maybe be noticed by the public.”
The high school students will go on to showcase their best works at state art in Casper later in the year.