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home : arts & entertainment : arts & entertainment October 16, 2018

2/6/2018 1:54:00 PM
Sisters celebrates the arts
Rylan Carter and Elise Ford look on as Sierra Henneous paints. photo by Jodi Schneider McNamee
+ click to enlarge
Rylan Carter and Elise Ford look on as Sierra Henneous paints. photo by Jodi Schneider McNamee

By Jodi Schneider McNamee

The Sisters School District has a reputation for focusing on and promoting student creativity. On Wednesday evening the commons at Sisters High School was transformed into a unique collaboration of the arts.

Students, teachers and guests gathered for the 22nd annual art night event with a fresh new look and a revamped name.

Art night is a chance for Sisters High School arts students to show off what they have created in the last year, and to get the community of all ages involved and excited about the arts.

ARTifacts benefitted the full spectrum of high school arts programs.

Bethany Gunnarson, art teacher at Sisters High School, directed the visual arts with music teacher Rick Johnson coordinating the performing arts with performances by the Sisters High School Jazz Choir, the Sisters High School Band, and several individuals from the Americana Project.

Gunnarson said, "ARTifacts has incredible energy tonight, and I'm so pleased to see so many different people of all ages getting involved!"

Folks meandered through the many student art exhibits, displays, a silent auction and interactive stations that were all manned by volunteer SHS art students.

Each person received a "passport" upon entering, and after visiting each of the interactive stations and receiving a stamp at each station in their passport, they earned a mystery gift to take home.

Local artist Kit Stafford, who supports the visual art department, has volunteered at the annual art event for many years and was helping to hand out passports.

"The name change from Coffee House to ARTifacts is a good change. This year it's more about the students showing off their art and being able to share it with others," Stafford said.

Guests enjoyed coffee and free homemade chocolate cupcakes with cookie dough icing prepared by students of the Sisters High School culinary arts program, under the guidance of their teacher TR McCrystal,

"We have our own cupcake-making station for people to design their own toppings on our chocolate cupcakes," McCrystal explained.

The various stations and tables allowed arts supporters and creative friends to express their inner artist and interact with each art station. Some braved the spinning potter's wheel, making their own glazed clay ornament; and some sat for a hand-painted henna tattoo by art student Shaely Meyer that could last up to a week.

Abbey Craig, a fourth-grader who attends Sisters Elementary School, was thrilled after trying the potter's wheel.

"It's something I've always wanted to try," Craig said. "It felt really weird to me and is harder than I thought, but it was a fun experience!"

Sophomore art student and Americana participant Sierra Henneous sat painting a larger-than-life guitar centerpiece at a table waiting for others to join in.

"This is the first time we have really done interactive art and it's a really cool experience to be able to talk to people and paint art with them," she said.

Shrinky Dinks had kids creating artwork on flexible sheets of plastic that, when popped in the oven, would magically shrink down to approximately 1/3 their original size. Shrinky Dinks are moving beyond their reputation as a kid's toy, and scientists are finding practical uses for the whimsical sheets of plastic.

And freshman Sahara Lucas helped man the Shrink Film station for anyone who wanted to try.

"We are using a heat gun instead of an oven," said Lucas. "It's fun seeing your drawing shrink down to such a small size."

Senior Gretchen Ezell had a table showing off her own digital artwork.

"I have an art program on my computer where you can draw," Ezell said. "I draw characters from media and sometimes I design my own."

Mckenna Jones, SHS art student, managed the paint dart mural for people who dared to take their aim at a balloon filled with paint.

"This is my first year doing any art and it's been a lot of fun," Jones told The Nugget. "We have the Outlaw mascot (a horse) behind the paint that spills out of the balloons onto special cloth, and once I take the tape down, our mascot will be an art form. I will find a place to hang this in the school somewhere."

Principal Joe Hosang was on hand watching everyone enjoy interacting at the 10 art stations, including his own kids.

"I really like to see this interaction because it brings in the kids," Hosang said.

The admission benefited the arts department and visual art scholarship that is given at the end of the year. 

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