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Snite Museum Holds 28th annual High School Art Day

| Monday, May 1, 2017

For its annual High School Art Day, which provides students with the opportunity to take studio art classes on campus, the Snite Museum of Art hosted visitors from Penn High School in Mishawaka, Indiana.

“This is our 28th year, and we rotate which high school we invite, and it’s all over the Michiana area,” program coordinator Mary Rattenbury said. “We can take between 50 and 60 kids to come spend the day on campus.”

Penn students began their day by touring the Snite Museum’s senior thesis exhibits of students pursuing a Bachelors in Fine Arts (BFA) or a Masters of Fine Arts (MFA).  Students were free to roam and read about each exhibit, but there were also graduate students on site to give greater detail into their art projects, according to Rattenbury.

One graduate student presenting her MFA thesis was Laura Lemna, who has a concentration in painting. Lemna’s mural exhibited bright, abstract patterns. She said the visiting students should make small, incremental decisions in developing themselves as artists.

“Not everyone understands that being an artist is a career that someone is able to pursue,” Lemna said. “So, I think the earlier that you can expose that career option, and for [these students] to see real life examples of people doing that and enjoying it, I think that’s very important.”

After seeing the BFA and MFA exhibits, Penn students were split into groups and taken to their morning studio art workshops in the Riley Hall of Art and Design. High schoolers had the opportunity to take courses such as “Paper Marbling and Bookbinding,” “Clay Slabs and Beyond,” “Playing With Light” and “Decorative Cast Relief Sculpture.”

From there, students proceeded to West Lake Hall for lunch.

“During lunch, two of the graduate students, [Mitch Springer and Thomas Cornell, presented] how to create a portfolio, so the students can start to know how to put things together for their future, whether it be a job or education,” Rattenbury said.

In the afternoon, students remained at West Lake Hall for more studio sessions. The classes there included “Concert Poster Design,” “Design your own Hand-Lettered Postcard,” “Seeing Color” and “Digital Sketchbook Pro.”

“It’s a full day,” Rattenbury said. “We really enjoy doing it. The students are exposed to life on campus, and the graduate students gain experience in teaching. It’s a nice way for them to gain experience for their future, too.”

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