Students from Haine Middle School prepare for 16th annual public art show
Haine Middle School teacher Noele Reynolds didn't learn her artful ways by using coloring books when she was a child.
“I never stayed inside the lines,” she told her sixth-graders, even as she instructed them to do so for their Zentangling projects, one more set of entries for the 16th annual public art show on May 16 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the school.
For this art exercise, students had drawn curvy and straight intersecting black lines on paper. Inside some of the shapes, the budding artists made patterns, some simple, some intricate.
Later, they would paint the different areas in blended watercolors.
“This is just a way of using patterns,” said Jenna Hartman, 12, of Cranberry, “a way to make something out of the ordinary, something no one has ever seen before.”
Allison Rentfrow, 11, also of Cranberry, will most likely hang the finished piece on her wall after it is viewed at the art show.
“I draw a lot and sketch,” she said. “My parents encourage me a lot.”
The students created art that would have the finished look of stained-glass panels.
For the show, Reynolds plans to hang about 3,000 pieces with each student contributing three.
She also will be using four tons of sand to display the students' ceramic bowls decorated inside with melted glass. Three-hundred raindrop shapes will fall from the ceiling. Three-dimensional masks will also be part of the exhibit.
“I have a different display every year,” said Reynolds of Harmony. “I haven't repeated a class project in 20 years — except the masks.”
Her experience as a freelance graphic designer with a fine arts degree from Kent State University led her to get her teaching certification and a master's degree from Carlow University. She is working on her master's degree in fine arts from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.
During the school year, Reynolds and her classes transformed inspiration into a display of colors, shapes and art styles for the 1,500 to 2,000 people who are expected to attend the show.
While the sixth-graders worked on their patterns, fifth-grade classes painted ceramic hand shapes and their display stands.
“This is a fun project,” said Cassidy Coffman, 11, of Cranberry. “I'm not very good at drawing and stuff.”
But, she allowed, she was good at science.
Emma Woodard, 11, of Cranberry, had worked with clay before in art club. She also enjoyed creating the ceramic stamps.
“We could explore what we wanted to do,” she said, about the project. “We had directions, but we didn't have limits.”
Cree Nedley of Cranberry thought the project was a good one as she worked in her favorite color, purple.
“I liked making the hand,” the 11-year-old said. “It was challenging.”
Into their handprints, the students spelled their names and their best qualities in alphabet pasta. The noodles burned away when the pieces were fired in the kiln.
Dona S. Dreeland is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6353 or firstname.lastname@example.org.