Canter students share their creations at Hyde Park Art Center exhibit

By Maria Castellucci
Herald Intern

Miriam G. Canter Middle School’s art exhibit “Passages” will be on display and pieces will be for sale at the Hyde Park Art Center (HPAC) May 26 through August 4.

The partnership between HPAC, 5020 S. Cornell Ave., and Canter’s art club began last year when Canter art teacher Wilma Rodriguez thought it would be a great opportunity for students interested in art to be exposed to more resources.

“Canter has limited funds in the school,” said Rodriguez, who is also an art club advisor at Canter. “We thought we had a lot of great students that were really interested in art, so why not expose them to what we can?”

Rodriguez said the students were able to do darkroom photography and silkscreening at HPAC, types of art the students would not have been able to do at Canter, 4959 S. Blackstone Ave.

Elke Claus, teaching artist at HPAC, works with the students in the club, which meets every Wednesday.

Claus chose what she thought to be each student’s best work to display for the exhibit. At least one piece of artwork from each student will be displayed.

The students named each of their pieces, and, if they want, can sell the piece to exhibit attendees for a price of their choice.

Paige Butts, a 7th grader at Canter and a member of the art club, said that she is excited to be a part of the exhibit.

“I’m really excited to showcase my artwork in a real place because it’s usually just my own artwork for myself to look at,” Butts said.

Rodriguez said the experience in an art studio has been a positive for the students.

“Being here in the environment of an art studio space and all of that, I think that really makes them believe that they can be an artist beyond the classroom,” Rodriguez said. “I see a difference when we come here and how they work. [They’re] more concentrated, more at ease, it’s really great.”

Emani Smalley, a 7th grade student at Canter and a member of the art club, said art club is a great way for her to express herself.

“I wanted to join art club because I wanted to let people know a different side of me that I don’t really let out,” Smalley said. “Its fun to express yourself in different ways.”

Photo 1: “Art is the one thing I love. It’s an escape. If I want to cry, or if I want to smile or if I want to cheese everybody I can do it with art,” says Canter Middle School 8th grade student Destiny Brady as she places her artwork in frames prior to hanging in Gallery 5 of the Hyde Park Art Center (HPAC), 5020 S. Cornell Ave., Wednesday afternoon. Ms. Brady’s and other Canter Middle School students’ work will be on display as part of the exhibition “Passages” at the HPAC through August 4.

Photo 2: “It expresses myself when words can’t,” says Canter Middle School 7th grade student Kayla Echols as she prices her artwork prior to hanging in Gallery 5 of the Hyde Park Art Center Wednesday.