THE ALL AREA STUDENT SHOW rates as one of my annual favorite art exhibits at the Paradise Center for the Arts in historic downtown Faribault. I love viewing the creative efforts of students from elementary age through high school. Their talent always impresses me and this year is no exception.
But the 2021 show, because of the pandemic and mostly distance learning, is scaled back. Way back. Art lines only a section of one hallway rather than multiple hallways and the walls of the second floor gallery.
Not only are fewer pieces of art displayed, but the art, too, reflects the pandemic and distance learning. Students from Bethlehem Academy, for example, drew portraits. Of their masked selves.
I also noticed a lack of copycat art with teachers assigning students to a specific art task and then student after student after student creating the same thing. I observed more creativity and diversity. And I really appreciated that individuality as it allows students to open their artistic wings and soar.
Paradise Center for the Arts Executive Director Heidi Nelson and I briefly discussed my observations. She agreed that distance learning definitely factored into the artwork, noting that some of the art is computer generated/created.
However these students created—whether via a pencil or a brush or a computer or some other method—they share the common denominator of making art. And for that, I feel inspired and grateful.
FYI: The All Area Student Show on the second floor of the PCA continues through April 10. The Paradise Center for the Arts is open from noon – 5 pm Thursday and Friday and from 10 am – 2 pm Saturdays.
© Copyright 2021 Audrey Kletscher Helbling