A day for art

May 3 was ‘Roar Into Art’ day at Yellow Medicine East. The annual event brings in area artists to work with area students.

YME sophomore Kailee Peters and YME ninth-grader Megan Nordaune tried their hand at mandala drawing last week using a compass and protractor. The girls thought the sixth annual art day was fun. In addition to mandala drawing, Nordaune had sessions in wheat weaving, peacock canvas and block printing.


If they weren’t artists when they walked in — they were when they walked out. Students from six area schools got a chance May 3 to sample four areas of art and bring home their creations.

The day is funded through the Yellow Medicine Integration Collaborative and involves 225 students from six partner schools: Canby, Dawson-Boyd, Lakeview, Minneota, Renville County West and Yellow Medicine East, said Robin Henderson, the Yellow Medicine Integration collaborative coordinator and YME success coach.

“It is an exciting day for all involved,” she said.

The hosts for art day rotates among schools. This year it was at Yellow Medicine East Schools in Granite Falls.

“It travels each year to one of the partner schools,” said Henderson. “Last year it was at Lakeview; the year before it was at Canby.”

Students do art alongside kids from other schools.

“The Art day is designed to bring students together from across the collaborative to learn, explore, experience, participate and enjoy art,” Henderson said. “It is a wonderful day of students getting to know each other and finding common ground through an art experience.”

Art classes offered were “Caricature Creations,” “Masks,” “Creative Coban,” “Wheat Weaving,” “Wire Tree Sculptures,” “Clay,” “Wire Sculpture and Plaster Wrap,” “Alcohol Inks on Tiles,” “Canvas Painting,” “Mandala,” “Stencils on T-Shirts,” “Mono Printing” and “Spoon Prints & Block Printing.”

Brad Hall, an artist from Granite Falls, had two choices for the students to create a block print with: a rolling pin print, which takes 8 minutes to dry or a 1957 Chandler & Price printing press that takes 24 hours to dry. Hall likes the printing press because “each print that comes out is a little different — you don’t get that with a laser printer,” he said.

Walker Risa, a sophomore from Lakeview, carved a shape of a deer skull and an arrow from an EZ-cut, which is a printing block of rubber-like material.

One of the sessions Minneota junior Thaiss Tabares signed up for had her making a caricature of herself. It was led by Marshall art teacher Timothy Gerrety. Gerrety had facial feature patterns that students could use or “if you want to go rogue, go rogue,” he said. “As soon as I tell you a rule, there’s going to be an artist out there who breaks it.”

Tabares was persuaded by her art teacher, Scott Hanson, to sign up for the art day.

“He basically said we would get an “F” if we don’t go,” she said, adding that he is a good teacher.

Hanson said yes, attendance was required “unless parents give special permission” for their children not to go.

But what’s not to like — the kids left with spiders the size of a dinner plate made out of cardboard tubes and colored tape, caricatures of themselves and masks, among other artwork.

The spiders were made from colored 3M Coban, which is self-adherent wrap often used to support injuries.

Hanson said 3M donates Coban “rejects,” imperfect ones, to him.

“It’s $5 to $7 each,” he said, so he greatly appreciates the donation. Coban as an art medium is like “papier mache without the mess.” He uses the cardboard core of the Coban for the body of the spider — or in the case of Canby 11th-grader Alyssa Regnier, a penguin. Penguins are her favorite animal.

Julie Overton, a ninth-grader from Dawson-Boyd, made a spider, one that she is going to “give to my friend who hates spiders.”

The Art day is collaboratively created by the art teachers from the six school districts: Scott Hanson, John Sterner, Tamara Isfeld, Cindy Demers, Amanda Beckler and Jennifer Ufkin.

“Each teacher brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the creative process along with a list of artists/teachers that they believe will bring a medium that is a good addition to the class offerings for the day,” Henderson said. “We were pleased to have 14 artists join us for the Roar Into Art day this year.”