Forty-four works of varying style, size and price by 13 teaching artists are on sale in the exhibit room of the bank, at Main and Sixth during bank hours. The gallery is to the right, when entering the bank from the Main Street plaza.
Opening with a reception Friday evening, this is the middle of a three-part Mentors and Students series on impact of art on youth. It is sandwiched between art of elementary students, and works of high school students to be shown March 27-April 10.
Exhibitors are: Hendersonville High’s Courtney Bunn Hoelscher, East Henderson High’s Robert Wallace, North Henderson’s Liz Wiesel, West Henderson’s Kelly King, Martha Zinn of Balfour Education Center, Mountain Community School’s Debbie Jackson, Immaculata Catholic School’s Marian Congdon, Veritas Christian Academy’s Jennifer Lipsey Edwards, Boys and Girls Club’s Heidi Mayfield, M. Rathsack of M’s School of Art, Costanza Knight, and senior project mentors Walter Arnold and Ian M. Cage.
“We’re very grateful to First Citizens and the Arts Council, for the opportunity to show our works to the community that many of us otherwise would not have,” Hoelscher told The Tribune.
Arts Council Board chairman Francis Cullinan, an operatic and musical theater director, told the crowd the exhibit honors teachers as among education’s “crown jewels.” He said “they give so much in mentoring students in this county.”
McCray Benson is CEO of the Community Foundation of Henderson County. Its Minor F. Watts Fund helps co-sponsor Mentors and Students, along with the bank. The foundation and Tourism Development Authority administer Arts Council funds. Benson said “arts are a pathway to our soul. The arts define our culture and community.”
Arts Council Managing Director Patty Smyers said the exhibit has about 50 pieces. All are shown, when submitted by teachers whose pupils are in either student exhibit that year. Pupils can be public, private, parochial or home-schooled. Smyers sees much “inspiration” in the exhibit.
Mystic works include Jackson’s starry Liquifax image of the Milky Way galaxy viewed from the Andromeda constellation. Hoelscher depicts a Metatron’s Cube linking 13 spheres, in “As Above, So Below.” She said teaching her pupils such “sacred geometry” drew a mix of “dumbfounded stares and fascinated looks.” Hoelscher is in her 11th year teaching art in local schools, and sixth in HHS.
Kelly King also had her spouse at the reception. Tom King teaches English, and announces West Falcon sports. Mrs. King is in her fourth year at West, the 13th local school she has taught art during 16 years.
She displayed a set of five twin-paneled acrylic floral works. It took her eight hours to create each panel. She “priced them to sell. I chose smaller pieces, at smaller prices.” King spread the project over nine months. She said, “I love the (varying bright) color and (mixed) medium.”
East’s Wallace showed ceramic pottery such as a pitcher, reflecting art’s “functional component as well as being decorative.”
Walter Arnold’s rustic view of bowling pins up close in an old alley is based on a photo, on heat-sensitive metallic transfer paper. He mentors Kyle Shirlin.
Heidi Mayfield in a “labor of love” uses art to boost Boys and Girls Club youth’s self-confidence, and broaden cultural interests. “Art gives the opportunity to safely express oneself to those who might be bottled up verbally — instead of resorting to physical aggression. They use color and abstract lines to reflect happiness, or disappointment and hurt.
M. Rathsack runs M’s School of Art. Hers is the largest piece in the exhibit, and is the size of a twin bed. Leaf Song depicts sound waves that vary in closeness and vibrancy, along with music she heard while drawing them. Hearing longer notes resulted in drawing longer lines, using a squeeze bottle, she noted.
A continuous line weaves throughout the image, as sound waves. The lightest of three shades of green is at left. Rathsack created this acrylic work in 10 hours, over two weeks.
Selling such art helps as “many art teachers are working artists,” Smyers noted. She believes art sales are “picking up again” at least in the yearly exhibit, after a recessionary dip. “Many in our community understand how important it is to support local artists, and our economy.”
Donations are accepted at the exhibit. A free drawing for one of the exhibited works accepts entries from those 18 or older, until April 10 when the winner is drawn.
For more, call the Arts Council at 693-8504 or check www.acofhc.org.