Student Art at SJIMA Amazes Visitors
The students of the Spring Street International School (SSIS) are exhibiting selected works in their show Creative Diversity at the San Juan Islands Museum of Art (SJIMA) during January.
Responses from visitors include:
- “Are you telling me this is High School art?”
- “These pieces are so imaginative and sophisticated.”
- “Each student has such a strong presence.”
- “I wish I could have had you as an art teacher.”
- “The show is absolutely beautiful, your students should be very proud of themselves.”
In this group there are three seniors and four juniors, and they are all extremely gifted young women. Instructor Taylor Bruce said the group was thrilled when she announced this opportunity to exhibit their works.
The students are Marieke Danniau, Yutong Du, Rain Gao, Danica Islam, Eden Light, Cameron Sinclair and Georgia Smith. They each chose their own mediums have their own visions and modes of expression. More than one has set her sights on a career in art.
Taylor Bruce’s background is in Illustration and she teaches middle school and high school students. Her focus is helping students develop their creative problem solving “skills – learning to tap into the imagination coupled with honing one’s ability to evaluate ideas.” She considers an assignment successful if she gives seven students the same assignment, and seven very different pieces of art are designed.
Bruce further details that when a student enters her classroom, her first goal is to help them develop a love of art and desire to explore their creativity.
She tries to introduce students to as many different mediums and styles as possible. With each creative prompt, students develop their skills and learn to select the most appropriate medium and style in which to express their idea. Over time, they hone their physical skills and tend to gravitate to the medium the best expresses their ideas.
SSIS offers four different art disciplines as electives – music, theater, video, and visual arts. Students are allowed to choose their favorite for the year. They can switch each year if they desire, however, most students tend to stay with one discipline in order to gain mastery.
The SSIS students and instructor frequently visit the exhibitions across the street at SJIMA for on-site studies and observations of new art. The SSIS student body includes students from the islands, Northwest, and those from distant countries like Rwanda, India, and China.
Also, with Creative Diversity, part of the Celebration for the Community is a retrospective of the art of Mary Ann Rock and Sam Connery. As all the works are from private collections, this is a rare opportunity to view the range of their works. Both exhibitions close on January 21
SJIMA is located at 540 Spring Street in Friday Harbor. The hours until January 21 are Friday-Monday for 11-5. Admission for these shows is free.