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Art Students Utilize Grants for International Art Experiences

Peter Rubino, an internationally known sculptor and teacher, visited the Visual Art classes for a four day workshop sponsored by the Union County Community Arts Council. Mr. Rubino is well known for his bronze monument, “Mother of All Life” located in Israel at the Ben Gurion University of Negev.  He is also the author of the book “The Portrait in Clay”. 

Through funding from the Union Power Cooperative Bright Ideas Grant, Rubino assisted students with the creation of large sculpted portraits from clay.  He also is recognized for the many famous bust sculptures of sports figures. The sculptures were on display at the annual Union County Student Artist Showcase at South Piedmont Community College, and were also exhibited at the annual Union County Community Arts Council Breakfast at Rolling Hills Country Club where Rubino spoke highly of the students and their art. Currently, the clay sculptures are located in the Piedmont High Media Center.

Union Power Cooperative Bright Ideas Grant further funded a $2,000 project that focused on the Japanese cultural experience titled “Earth, Fire, Air, and Water”.  Japanese art forms, traditions, and culture were studied and practiced.  Visual Art students created Raku pottery under the expertise of Andy Smith, a North Carolina professional potter, as he demonstrated his wheel throwing techniques. After learning the Raku process of firing pottery, Art students created a Japanese Raku flower container called an ikebana. Tracy Price’s Photography students subsequently captured the implementation of these events. Each student involved heard the history and experienced the culture of  Japan, where they learned the importance that the tea ceremony plays in the Japanese culture. Students also virtually visited the Japanese Tea Gardens in San Francisco, and sponsored an exhibit and reception in the Art room on the evening of April 28. 

The Union County Education Foundation also awarded Teacher and Classroom Mini-Grants this school year to “support students and encourage educators”.  Through this grant, visual art students studied the Native American culture so they better understood the horse hair technique for decorating pottery.   Art teacher Susan Helms wrote a grant for the pottery students titled “Clay Horsehair Vessels”. The $500 grant was awarded on October 28 by the “Prize Patrol”.  A kiln was purchased with this money to experience the unique horse hair pottery firing process, and the pottery produced using this kiln was exhibited in the library. There were 118 applicants and 44 Union County Public Schools teachers were awarded a total of $20,000.  According to Helms, "The grants that are available to teachers in Union County allow my art students to be exposed to international experiences that would not otherwise be possible.  I am very grateful to have been selected for these grants and hope to provide additional opportunities in the future for my students."

Written by: Donna Helms, Web Editor
Posted: May 18, 2015 by Donna Helms

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