PSU hosts most successful High School Art Day ever


Gretchen Burns | Collegio Reporter

Samantha Powell helped push over 2,400 thumbtacks into a wall while hanging over 600 high school artworks that were displayed during the annual High School Art Day in the Overman Student Center on

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Thursday, Nov. 15. The exhibition shows works of art students from Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.
“I liked the schools that made their artworks easier to hang with a string on the back,” said Powell, senior in art. “My thumb is really sore from pushing all the thumbtacks into that wall.”

College environment

High School Art Day is an annual event put on by the Art Department where local high school students come to Pittsburg State University and participate in activities as groups and tour the art department to see what a collegiate level art program is about.
“The response has been amazing,” said Rhona Shand, PSU Art Department chairperson. “When we started this, we had 40 or 50 students. Then the next year it was more than 100. Each year, more schools have participated. The growth has been phenomenal.”
Students who participated teamed with their high school in building robots with newspaper and colored tape.

Team effort

Planning and hosting Art Day also means working as a team for the Art Department, Shand said.
“This is a big job and everyone in the department pitches in,” Shand said.
Jewelry and crafts professor Marjorie Schick was the faculty member in charge of High School Art Day and gathered PSU art students to help arrange artworks as they were entered and volunteer throughout the day to help out wherever needed.
Alana Utterback felt that the artwork submitted by the students had improved in quality when compared to the previous year.
“I’ve seen a lot of original artworks this year,” said Utterback, senior in art. “Last year there were obviously some copied works. I think that stuff has really been updated and more and new materials have been used.”
Janelle Kranker showed that she was a volunteer for the day by donning a dress and hat that she had crafted out of newspapers, as PSU students were asked to wear something that was made of newspaper for identification.
“I am an illustrator. Illustrators work in 2D, flat drawings. Every chance I get to switch over to 3D I take it.,” said Kranker, senior in commercial art. “I took this challenge as a breath of fresh air and a chance to switch it up. A change of pace is nice every once in a while, especially in the most crucial part of my senior year.”

Successful event

Carol Longman felt that the event turned out to be a fantastic turnout from all area schools.
“It’s been chaotic, but I can tell the kids are enjoying themselves,” said Longman, senior in art. “There are some really talented students here. It’s just been fantastic. Absolutely fantastic.”
Shand said Art Day sends a strong message to students about the role and value of art in today’s society.
“It tells students that the arts are relevant to our communities,” Shand said. “It reminds them how the arts can help develop teamwork skills and critical thinking.”

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