RHS, GHS art students prep for Convergence at RMAC

May 2, 2012 • Local News

Laurie Rufe, director at the Roswell Museum and Art Center, gives a tour to Goddard High School art students,Tuesday morning. Mark Wilson Photo

Art students from Goddard High School got their first look Tuesday at the g[auth] allery where they will place their artwork at Roswell Museum and Art Center, readying for an exhibit that will open May 19. The upcoming student exhibit is the product of an RMAC program called Convergence, funded by Pioneer Bank, Kerr Foundation Inc. and the city of Roswell.

Convergence has linked art students at Goddard and Roswell high schools with artists Nancy Fleming and Corwin Levi from the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program, offering the students a chance to work with professional artists twice a week for an entire semester, and to develop the many concepts behind art installation.

Goddard High art director Joseph Lopez said RMAC contacted the two schools about the program in August, and together planned an exhibition that would unite all of the students’ ideas, a convergence of their pasts, present and futures.

“The idea, overall, is a journey, and how the kids are seeing their journey varies in different ways,” Lopez said. “We’re unsure how it will come together, but I guess that’s the surprise of it; you work with the medium that you’re given, and then it potentially (comes) together as a story.”

Lopez said students have been developing their ideas in groups, working with several materials, including papier mâché, old technology items and poster paper. He said that seeing what comes of their collaboration will be a process of discovery that will likely surprise everybody involved.

“It’s really just a big exercise in creativity,” he said. “Sometimes it’s much easier to be directed on what (to do), and if you have a little bit of that, there’s a solution that you can see. But for us, with this, we don’t know what the solution is. So we’re trying to be as creative as we possibly can to build all aspects of it.

“I think when you don’t have boundaries, you really don’t know where you’re going, but you just go. You just keep trying and we’ll see what comes up.”

RMAC director Laurie Rufe said students have been helping Levi and Fleming with postcard invitations, and that on the day of the show, students will get their first taste of an art reception, to be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Rufe says the value of a program that provides students with a close look at how professional artists prepare and create has many benefits.

“I think the artists bring a whole new dimension to the classroom, because they are out there creating their own art,” she said. “They’re also out there looking at other artists, so it really broadens the horizon for the student.

“I think it builds problem-solving skills, innovative thinking. It allows them to look at various media; in contemporary art there is so much media out there, from found object art to recycled materials to AstroTurf. So it really does allow them to push the boundaries of what art is.”

Goddard student Maranda Corbell said students have been reusing materials like plastic bottles and school papers, fashioning them into flowers, and making grass out of shredded paper. She says Convergence has helped her to see how art can be created in groups.

“It’s been rewarding and difficult at the same time, because it’s quite tasking to work with different people,” Corbell said. “The challenges are that you have to learn how to talk to the other people and get your point across, as well as getting their point across.

“So you think of something, they think of something, and then you can make something even greater than what you originally designed.”

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