The best of K-12 student art found at U-M’s Slusser Gallery

VIDEO BELOW: Families visit art show reception, including a clip from members of a Community High School Jazz Band combo.

By Casey Hans
AAPSNews Service

Dozens of families filled an opening reception this month at the Jean Paul Slusser Gallery on the University of Michigan’s North Campus which features dozens of student works of art from the Ann Arbor Public Schools.

Everything from multi-media productions, pottery, paitings, jewelry and mixed media is represented in the district’s largest student art show of the year, which runs through Friday, June 4.

Laura Radwan, a senior at Huron High School, had two pieces of jewelry exhibited and said she thought the show was a wonderful way to top off her time in Ann Arbor. “I hope in college I can take something just as fun,” she said of her art experience at Huron. She plans to attend Ohio University in Athens where she will study music production.

“It’s wonderful to see what the students can do,” added Sigrid Radwin, Laura’s grandmother who came with a vanload of family members and friends to enjoy the reception.

The spring multi-media event features the collective work of selected students in grades kindergarten through 12 and showcases approximately 400 works of art, said Steve Coron, a Community High School art teacher who is coordinating this year’s event. Ann Arbor art teachers selected the works to be exhibited.

Robin Bailey, fine arts coordinator for The Ann Arbor Public Schools, estimated that several hundred persons attended the evening reception, which included refreshments as well as entertainment by the Community High School Jazz Band. “Their students (U-M) have left, so it worked well for us. They’re thrilled to have us here,” she said.

Bailey said art teachers spent a lot of time matting student work and preparing it for the gallery presentation. “I just think it’s wonderful that kids have an opportunity to see their work in a public space,” she added.

Anja, a second-grader at Haisley Elementary School, said she based her art piece on the work of American painter Georgia O’Keeffe. “I just did my picture in art class and it got picked,” she said, showing off her displayed work to her proud family.

Dicken Elementary School first-grader Andy and his sister, Casey, a second-grader, both had artwork displayed. Casey’s papier maché-style fish was exhibited in a work she dubbed “Fishie.”

Eberwhite Elementary School parent Nate Berent-Spillson was on hand to see his kindergarten son’s work, but was enjoying the others as well. “I think this is great,” he said. “The range of different kinds of art and different mediums and the range of grades is impressive.”

In previous years, the show had been hosted at the U-M Rackham Building, then moved to the Washtenaw Intermediate School District center and came back to U-M last year. “The School of Art & Design has embraced our program,” Coron said. “We’re very happy to be there.”

The Slusser Gallery is in the U-M School of Art & Design Building, 2000 Bonisteel Blvd. Evening parking is located off of Fuller Street. Exhibit hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and noon to 7 p.m. Saturday.

In addition to the student exhibit, Ann Arbor art teachers and alumni offer their spring exhibit of art at the U-M Work Gallery through June 8. The Work Gallery is at 306 S. State St., Ann Arbor.

Casey Hans edits this newsletter for The Ann Arbor Public Schools. E-mail her or call 734-994-2090 (internal ext. 51228.)

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