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Nodhoff High School Art Students Design Posters for Ojai’s Art in the Park Festival

Finalist Tannor Garnsey’s submission.
Finalist Alex Viveros’s submission.
Finalist Elizabeth Neil’s submission.
Finalist Grace Bergmann’s submission.
Finalist Tori Doan’s submission.

The Ojai Art Center and Nordhoff High School’s art department are have teamed up to promote careers in the arts for students while finding a poster for th upcoming Art in the Park event.

Situated in historic Ojai Valley is NHS, the community’s only existing public high school. It represents many opportunities for its students to exceed beyond high school.

With a broad array of offerings, the school’s mission is to mold students into thoughtful, skilled, articulate, knowledgeable and creative problem­solvers. To enhance the experience, NHS offers many art programs including pottery, fine arts and graphic design.

Highly qualified, dedicated and engaging instructors pave the way for Ojai’s inspiring young artists by encouraging students to be creative and to share their artwork with the community, which is accomplished with the help of the OAC, whose mission, since 1939, is to support and to advance the interest of the arts within the community.

Gray Duncan, who has been teaching student pottery at NHS since 1992, is passionate about each of the programs as well as how core standards are incorporated into the arts curriculum.

His students are learning the value of money by keeping track of how much supplies will cost to create an art piece and incorporating the time involved in order to turn a reasonable profit. Students use this strategy in the real world selling their art in the OAC gallery and receiving 80 percent of the profits.

Fine Arts Instructor Kate Thomas’s students work on a variety of projects, and she currently has one student making jewelry and another converting art to T­shirt designs.

Thomas adds that both students are very excited about the opportunity that the Art Center gives them, especially that they can earn a scholarship for the work they have done. 

New to the program is Michael Swank, a graphic design instructor. He quickly recognized the support that the OAC brings to NHS’s arts program.

“Our class is an exploration of technology to create commercial art incorporating print, web, animation and 3D printing. A variety of Adobe software programs are used and students spend time in the studio solving problems,” says Swank.

Currently, students are starting a series of projects to help raise money for the Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center’s (SPARC) medical fund.

They have also submitted poster artwork for the upcoming Art in the Park festival. The Art in the Park finalists’ submissions can be viewed on the OAC’s website, where voting for a winner is underway until April 15.

In support of the school’s mission, Principal Greg Bayless believes that what students do outside the classroom with respect to athletics, music, drama, dance or community service is central to Nordhoff’s vision because personal growth and life skills are developed beyond classroom walls, and he praises the OAC’s generosity. 

“The Ojai Art Center joins us in teaching the importance of art and culture in our community by supporting existing artistic talent and by nurturing students at Nordhoff. They introduce them into the incredible, world­class artistic community here in the Ojai valley,” he said.

By donating booths to art students at its annual Art in the Park festival, the OAC gives students the opportunity to discuss and sell their artwork and keep 100 percent of the profits.

The OAC raises funds for Nordhoff’s art programs and provides scholarship opportunities. Teri Mettala, the center’s executive director, has worked with the OAC for 35 years.

As a backer for the program, Mettala calls it a win-­win because it affords Ojai’s art students the opportunity to enrich their personal development, which positively affects and enriches the overall learning experience since each student is inherently a part of the community.

Each year, the OAC chooses an artist’s work to be used as the Art in the Park poster. The poster artwork is featured in advertising, social media and at the event.

This year it has asked Nordhoff art students to design their poster. The artwork of the five finalists — Alex Viveros, Elizabeth Neil, Grace Bergmann, Tannor Garnsey and Tori Doan — can be voted on by visiting ojaiartcenter.org.

The 39th Annual Art in the Park festival will be held from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. May 28-29, 2016, on Memorial weekend.

There will be 90 fine art booths, including those featuring the Nordhoff art students. Live music will also be featured, making for a fun weekend of art and entertainment. Admission is free.

Teri Mettala is the executive director of the Ojai Art Center.

 

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