Art Club collective

Photo by Christy Porter
Retired art teacher Ellen Reynolds, left, and local artist Jan Rensch, right, mentor the next generation of Licking artists.

By Christy Porter, Managing Editor

Local Licking elementary and high school Art Club members met to learn with area artists who mentored and taught different art venues in an artist collective on Saturday. Second year elementary art teacher Delanie Rinne and third year high school art teacher Leah Sullins hosted the event. Small classes of approximately four students, along with volunteer teachers, rotated in 1-1/2-hour sessions.

Each student chose three desired interests from a selection of Acrylic Painting on Canvas, presented by retired art teacher Connie Buckner and artist Lanie Frick; Scratch Art with artist Gary Duncan; Jewelry with artist Margie Moll; Tissue Paper Mache and Landscape Decoupage presented by retired art teacher Ellen Reynolds and artist Jan Rensch; Chalk Paint Techniques taught by Jean Potts from The Rock House; and Pottery made with Randy Ingram of Main Street Pottery. Of their three indicated interests each student attended two class selections. Prior to beginning the jewelry class, student McKinley Satterfield said she was excited about her choices.

The students also participated in a scavenger hunt at the Texas County Museum of Art & History. Administrator Jackie Duncan admitted that the hunt was a bit difficult. Early participants agreed, “It was fun, but it was hard.”

Photos by Christy Porter

The Art Club activities have been curtailed due to COVID-19; this was a new opportunity to reconvene in a broadening scope. The elementary club meets regularly on Tuesday, 3:30 – 5 p.m. and the junior high/high school met through February on Wednesday, 3:15 – 4:30 p.m. This was the first event of its kind and the hope is to continue the cooperation between students and area artists in the future, possibly the fall or winter of every year or every other year, said Sullins.

The artists who participated gave instruction, answered questions and provided hands-on mentoring. The students were intent on learning and creating. One’s observation from the classes is that art is not just about being good, but perhaps more importantly it is a form of expression and creative release. Some artwork was completed during the event and some would continue to completion over the next week.

The event cumulates in a showcase Art Show to be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Texas County Museum of Art & History on Saturday, May 1. This is also the day of the Licking Downtown Junk Derby, so make plans to attend both events.

“We have amazing area artists who not only donated their time, but provided many of the supplies for the classes. Enjoy their artwork; much of it can be seen at the Texas County Museum of Art & History and at The Rock House,” encourages Rinne.

Buckner started the Art Club in 2009. “Kids thrive on art; for those who don’t play sports, it’s an opportunity to participate in a positive extra-curricular activity. That’s why I started the Art Club,” said Buckner.

It began with a handful of students and grew to two classes of 15 each meeting every other week last year. This year they have a group of 22 that meets each week. Rinne and assistant Crystal Keller now coordinate and teach the Art Club and “the kids love it,” say the instructors, to which the kids heartily agree. The elementary art room displays hand painted ceiling tiles done by students since the beginning of the Art Club, and the project is something they look forward to each year.

Hoping to continue an appreciation and love for the creativity of the arts, Sullins shared, “I’m an art teacher because of Ellen Reynolds, who as my art teacher taught me to love art!”

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