By: Cameryn Wheeler, Shield Writer
On Feb. 9, NRCA held its annual Art Extravaganza in the middle school gym. Students from kindergarten through 12th grade submitted their artwork which was displayed for family, peers, and the community. The Art Extravaganza is one of the many ways that students express their creative talents.
“The whole purpose of the Art Extravaganza is to showcase the talents of students. We want them to have an opportunity outside of the regular art classroom to express themselves, to be creative, and to grow in talents that God has given them,” said Leisha Hodgson, an NRCA art teacher who helped coordinate the event.
This year NRCA displayed 412 pieces. The elementary division had a total of 181 students who participated, with five winning Best in Show. The middle school division had 91 students participating, with three winning Best in Show. A total of 90 students from the high school division submitted pieces, with five winning Best in Show.
“I think it’s good for the elementary parents to be able to see, if their child loves art, that we have different electives and programs they can continue throughout their career here at NRCA, and to be able to grow those artistic skills and talents. It’s good for them to be able to see the work that these high school students put in to achieve these beautiful pieces of art,” Hodgson said.
NRCA’s Art Extravaganza gives students a platform to share their gifts in visual arts with the community. “[It is] a way to showcase that NRCA has students that are talented in lots of different areas. We have a wonderful theatre arts program, and the students in that are able to showcase their talents through the different plays, [and] our athletics, they’re able to showcase their talents through the different sports programs that we have. And I think for the art students I think it gives them an opportunity to show to their friends and their peers, ‘Hey, this is something that I’m really good at and that I really enjoy,’ and they have the opportunity to share that,” Hodgson added.
Twenty elementary pieces will be going on to the ACSI Fine Arts Festival at NRCA on March 17, and 24 works of art from grades 7 –12 will appear at the event.
The Art Extravaganza creates lifelong memories for students. “We do have students that have been here from kindergarten that are graduating as seniors that have participated in the Art Extravaganza every year. And I think [that] for their parents, it’s a fun way to see, especially if they are interested in art, their growth throughout the years. That also applies to any student, even if they weren’t here in kindergarten, to be able to participate in something each year and see how they can improve their talents, improve their skill set, and to be able to showcase their artwork. Art provides students with a way to express themselves and to share emotions and feelings, and the Art Extravaganza allows us a safe place to be able to showcase that and to share that love for art with the greater community here at NRCA,” Hodgson said.