There is never a dull, uninspired day for William Chrisman High School photography teacher Karen Campbell and art teachers Jill Flinton and Jeanne Smith.
And after viewing the 60-plus student art displays that are featured at Art Squared, 111 N. Main St. on the Independence Square, it’s easy to see why.
Student-created art features subjects like surreal eyes, large scale food, looking through the keyhole, self portraits, elaborate tree houses and organic skeletons.
“I’m inspired every time I walk into my classroom,” said Flinton, who teaches introduction to art, sculpting and painting. “Having their work featured here at Art Squared gives our students a sense of belonging to the community.
“People are going to be able to see all this amazing art, who might never go to our high school. Anyone who sees all this student art will realize the type of talented kids we have at Chrisman.
“Wow! These kids are talented beyond their years. Truly, truly, truly talented kids with so much talent – and we get to work with them every day!”
Smith, who teaches introduction to visual art and drawing, echoes her co-workers comments and mirrors her enthusiasm.
“When you come to see the exhibit, you’re going to see different styles, mediums and so many different concepts of art,” Smith explained. “Many of these works of art are semester projects – so you’re seeing some of the finest pieces from some of our best students.
“And it’s exciting for us to see them all displayed in one area.”
Campbell teaches photography, and grins when asked if Chrisman still has a dark room for processing film.
“We still have the room we used to use as a dark room to process film, with the red lights and everything, but now it’s just a room full of different light bulbs that the students photograph – and some of the photos are very creative,” Campbell said.
Chrisman students use digital cameras and some use Photoshop to create works of art that cause some viewers to do a double-take.
One such photo is called “Dogs and Cats in Space,” and features photographer Brett Wilson’s dog and cat Photoshopped into a space-themed piece of art that offers something new upon each viewing.
He also has a mirror-image photo of a car, that features a perfect Photoshopped reflection in a puddle of water.
“Brett is a special photographer,” Campbell said. “He Photoshopped the reflection of the car – but it looks so real.”
As the three Chrisman teachers walk through the exhibit and pick out familiar pieces to discuss, Marcia Pugh – Art Squared consignor and original member of the art community who created the unique home for local artists – looks on and smiles.
“This is what Art Squared is all about,” said Pugh, as the venue features area Independence school art classes and a local featured artist each month. “I was able to meet one of the Chrisman students when she brought her parents up to see the exhibit and she was so excited.
“And so many people who have come into our galleries have had the opportunity to see the work of the students. It’s been a great partnership.”