2005-05-20 / Top News

Students Create Opportunities With art

By Leslie Rott

Cynthia Ivey Abitz and a group of her art students pose proudly during a reception for their work at Oil Paintings by Marlee, a gallery at Grand Hotel, Sunday, May 15. 
(Photo courtesy of Josh and Cynthia Ivey Abitz)
Cynthia Ivey Abitz and a group of her art students pose proudly during a reception for their work at Oil Paintings by Marlee, a gallery at Grand Hotel, Sunday, May 15. (Photo courtesy of Josh and Cynthia Ivey Abitz)

Ansel Adams, Alexander Calder, Pablo Picasso, and Georges Seurat were big names during the afternoon of Sunday, May 15, when their unique styles were displayed in the creations of art students from Mackinac Island Public School. The occasion was an exhibit at Grand Hotel by Cynthia Ivey Abitz and her art students, in the gallery of Oil Paintings by Marlee, to showcase the year’s work studying artists and their art. The exhibit will continue through May 20.

As a group, Mackinac Island Public School 
art students re-created the painting, “A Sunday Afternoon on La Grande Jatte,” by Georges Seurat. 
The original is a part of The Art Institute of Chicago’s permanent collection, 
which the children hope to visit next year, using proceeds from their silent auction.
As a group, Mackinac Island Public School art students re-created the painting, “A Sunday Afternoon on La Grande Jatte,” by Georges Seurat. The original is a part of The Art Institute of Chicago’s permanent collection, which the children hope to visit next year, using proceeds from their silent auction. Students spent the year studying artists from the Renaissance to present day.

“The objective,” Mrs. Ivey Abitz said, “was to introduce vastly different artists and art to my students,” exposing them to the various techniques and philosophies employed. “It reinforces the idea that art is not limited to painting and drawing.”

Students could work on individual and group projects. Mrs. Ivey Abitz said that “the intent was to inspire, to rouse creativity in each student,” and to stimulate students with the excitement of art. Some, she said, have told her they now want to become artists when they grow up.

Last Sunday’s reception was held for parents and friends to view the works and to purchase artwork through a silent auction. The money raised, said Mrs. Ivey Abitz, will supplement the meager school budget for the art program, which is $500 for the entire school year, and to instill in her students the idea that art can have monetary value.

“Through this experience,” she said, “my students are understanding that art is a viable career option. Putting up their own show and selling their own art is making quite an impression on them. They are understanding that art is for everyone, not just for collectors and museums.”

Starting bids ranged from $20 to $80, allowing bidders a wide range of pieces to choose from and giving them the opportunity to bid as high as they wanted. The proceeds, about $400 so far, will be used for art supplies and art class field trips. One potential trip is to The Art Institute of Chicago, where Mrs. Ivey Abitz’s students will have the opportunity to see, in person, works by several of the artists they studied this year.

Works at the show included charcoal drawing, painting, photography, and sculpture, created in the styles of the artists they studied.

“It was really fun learning about what you can do with art,” said third-grader Hailey Armstrong.

A classmate, Amelia Roe, also enjoyed the experience.

“You get to express yourself and hang out with your art teacher,” she said.

Works of art that did not sell at the show are still available for sale. Also, packages of four note cards created by last year’s art students, are available for $8. Call the school at 847-3376 for more information. All proceeds go to the art fund.

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