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The City Journals

Olympus Jr. showcases art in-house before winning at the district art show

May 30, 2017 02:52PM ● By Kelly Cannon

Artwork on display at Olympus Junior High. (Kaitlin Baer/Olympus Jr. Art Department)

By Aspen Perry  |  [email protected]
The week after Olympus Junior High held an in-house art show, student artwork went on to compete at the Granite District Art Show.
“The art show is an annual celebration of art and shows how much we as a community value art, creativity and our amazing students,“ said Kaitlin Baer with Olympus Junior High Art Department.
Baer went on to explain the student artwork is representative of their development as visual artists, as well as the messages behind their pieces.
“Communication has been a huge focus in the visual arts department. Every artwork has meaning and can have a powerful effect on the viewer,” Baer said.
Though the art shows did not take place until April, Baer noted some students began working on their pieces as early as June the previous year.
“The art show each year represents almost an entire year’s worth of work,” said Baer.
Baer loves seeing the sense of accomplishment and boost of confidence art provides for her students. “There is nothing quite like walking into an art show, seeing your art on the wall, and thinking ‘I made that.’”
After student artwork was well received in the halls of Olympus Junior High, select pieces went onto compete in the district-wide art show held at the Granite Education Center on Wednesday, April 19.
All in all, Olympus Junior had an impressive district showing. They walked away with 13 awarded pieces from the 2D categories, including first place in transparent painting, and one honorable mention.
In comparison to the other 11 schools that participated, Olympus, Churchill and Wasatch collected the most awards.
In regards to total collected awards, Olympus came in second to Wasatch with 15 total awards, including 2D best of show, three first place, and one honorable mention. 
Churchill also had an impressive showing, collecting 10 awards including;3D best of show, and first place in wheel thrown ceramics.
However, Wasatch, Olympus and Churchill collected the most district awards. First place was awarded to several schools within Granite District, including Bennion, Churchill, Evergreen, Granite Park, Kennedy, Matheson, Olympus and Wasatch.
All students who placed in the top five spots received art supplies based on the category they won, such as clay with tools, canvas and paints, or pencils, to name a few.
Though placing in the art show has its obvious perks, for many students and teachers art means much more than winning awards.
“For some, (art) is the best place to develop critical thinking, creativity and confidence. So for them, it actually means more,” said Chris Wightman, art teacher for Wasatch Junior High.
Confidence through art is a concept that Baer could not agree with more. “Displaying art the students are proud of is a huge confidence boost for everyone.”
“My favorite part, especially of a junior high art show, is watching the artists when they walk in and see their work on the wall,” Baer said. “Generally, they are all smiles.”
When it comes to logistics, putting on an art show is no small feat. Baer attributes organization, as well as the reward of knowing how it enriches the life of her students, as the key elements of both a successful art show and the fuel necessary to persevere through the long days and nights leading up to the show. Despite the long hours and work involved, Baer loves the art show.
“I think all art teachers would agree that this is the highlight of the year for all of us, and our students,” Baer said.
”It makes all the hours that go into creating an artwork worth it,” Baer said. “I love the excitement that exists at the artist reception as students, families and friends celebrate art.”