June 06, 2007

Museum to display area students' artwork

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. — The artists of tomorrow will be on display this summer in the Atrium Gallery of the University Museum at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Young artists from area middle and high schools who participated in the Art Fusion museum outreach program will have art of their own showcased in an exhibit that will be on display June 12 until Aug. 3. The exhibit includes approximately 45 pieces selected by art teachers at participating schools. Artwork not in the main exhibit is included in individual student art portfolios.

Students, teachers and museum staff will attend a reception from 2 to 4 p .m. on Sunday, June 24, in the University Museum, located at the north end of Faner Hall North.

Robert DeHoet, museum education coordinator, said a critical part of Art Fusion is giving young students the opportunity to interact with art. Art Fusion staff actually brought selections from the museum's collection to the schools. Students critiqued the artwork and discussed basic elements such as color, line and shape. Students selected their own "best in show" from among the museum selections and defended their choices.

"We wanted to give them an art evaluation vocabulary," DeHoet said. "We asked them why they chose what they chose, and asked them why other selections weren't as interesting to them. That's motivation for them to take what they are doing very seriously."

DeHoet said motivation is also the key reason for including an Art Fusion exhibit in the museum's summer exhibit schedule.

"This is an important exhibit," he said. "We are showing that by having the reception and making it a special event."

Participating schools are: Carbondale Middle School, Davie School in Anna, Du Quoin Middle School, Elkville High School, Giant City School in Carbondale, Harrisburg High School, Vergennes Elementary School and Zeigler-Royalton High School.

Carbondale Community Arts, which also helps support the University Museum's Arts Education Festival in April, partially supported the Art Fusion program.

For more information about the University Museum and its exhibits, call 618/453-5388 or visit www.museum@siu.edu.