McKinleyville Art Night is the third Friday of each month. Mack Arts students participate in every Art Night while school is in session (a few dates are different due to school vacations).
Each Art Night features newly created artwork in many different media, such as paintings, drawings, photos, sculptures, ceramics, and more.
All students, parents, family, friends, and other community members are invited to enjoy our opening reception activities...
Most opening receptions are in the MHS Library from 6-8 pm. See the most current post below for specific details.
Kylee Durrett and Sierra Joyner participate in Pastels on the Quad by making conservation themed drawings for Earth Day. "Art has the power to make people change the way they behave or think because art has always had an effect on culture all around the world," said junior Sierra Joyner.
"Art definitely has the power to influence people's actions. In art, you can present ideas with your own connotations like contrasting light and darkness, using bold colors, emphasizing particular subjects, etc. to influence others toward favoring a cause. Ideology is given much more impact by aesthetics," says senior Peter Throssel.
Each student designed their drawings to convey a message to the viewer. Crystal McKinney chose a direct approach with her drawing of the earth surrounded by arrows that symbolize recycling. Kailey Wallis' drawing of the bright sun shining on beautiful crashing waves has a more subtle message.
"I believe that art does have the power to change the way people think and behave because art can show a new insight that people aren't exposed to in everyday life," said junior Kailey Wallis seen below on the left next to junior Crystal McKinney.
Surrealism is an art movement that began in the 1920's. Surrealist artists portrayed real objects in unreal ways. Art work like Salvador Dali's melting clocks and Rene Magritte's mind bending illusions come immediately to mind. Contemporary artists have continued to explore surrealistic themes in many mediums including photography.
"There are a few photographers, like Jerry Uelsmann, who make surreal photos by combining multiple negatives in the darkroom, but most modern photographers use Photoshop to make digital collages from several photos," says Mack Arts photography teacher Justine Smith.
Mack Arts students were challenged to take photos of transparent vessels in interesting environments and then use Photoshop to place unexpected scenes or objects inside the vessel.
"The hardest part of this project was deciding what to photograph for the inside of the jar and to make it interesting for others to see. The detail that captured my imagination is the red color of the flower. Everything in the collage is cool except for the flower, which really makes it stand out," says Freshman Kaitlyn Hang about her photo collage of a tulip living inside a canning jar, left.
"Finding the right scenery for inside the jar was difficult. I wanted the setting outside the jar to be beautiful but also contrast with the photo of the ocean I placed inside the jar. Making art is important because it reflects who you are as a person. It's a beautiful thing to create, you can make your own little world," says Freshman Brittany Ross about her surreal photo collage, below.
After taking the photos they needed to make their surreal collages, Mack Arts students combined the images with Photoshop, a powerful photo editing software. Using the photo of the transparent vessel as the background, students cut out the object or scene to fit the shape of the jar. Finally, students used various Photoshop blending techniques to create the illusion that the object or scene was actually captured inside the vessel.
The opening reception for the Real/Surrealphotography show is on Friday March 21 from 6-8 p.m. in the McKinleyville High School Library. The artwork will be on display from March 21-April 11. Community members are invited to attend the reception and enjoy other Family Art Night activities such as make-and-take art projects for all ages, an open ceramics lab, and refreshments.
"I chose Keisha Jamerson's photo to use for the Point of View show poster because it is very intriguing. By taking her photo from a bug's eye point of view, Keisha made ordinary rubber balls look like giant monoliths. I also really enjoy the color palette, it has a retro feel," says Mrs. Smith.
"With photography you can capture different aspects of life in diverse ways. I like photography because it's not limiting to creativity, ideas captured in photos can be interpreted in ways that haven't been thought of before," says sophomore Keisha Jamerson.
Mack Arts photo students chose a diverse range of subjects to document for their Point of View photos. Senior Christian Webb captured the bold, graphic image of the American flag seen on the right.
"I like the challenge of setting up a scene just the way I want it. One of the things that makes this photo interesting is the dramatic camera angle. I also like the way the repetition of the lines on the flag are echoed in the lines of the wood paneling on the wall. With photography you can communicate a story visually," says Webb.
Most photos of babies are carefully posed and taken from the front. The unusual point of view and spontaneous feeling of junior Kalyn Abeyta's photo, below right, invites the viewer take a second look.
"The dark background makes the profile of the baby stand out. Her dark eye and lashes contrast with her pale skin, which makes you focus on her eye. The line created by the necklace also leads your eye to her face. Art is important because it is a way to express yourself and inspire others," says Abeyta.
Another example of the wide range of subjects explored by Mack Arts photo students is sophomore Austin Stockwell's hauntingly beautiful landscape, below.
"The blurriness makes the image mysterious and gives it an all over softness. I achieved the effect by taking the photo through a rain drenched window. What really makes this photo special, however, is the lighting. I took it at sun rise just as the sun was coming over the trees to illuminate a field of grass. The shadowy areas contrast with the brightly lit sky. One important thing about art is it allows you to express your ideas and feelings through more than words. I wasn't sure how the photo was going to turn out when I took it, but sometimes in photography unexpected things turn out really well," says Stockwell.
The opening reception for the Point of View photo show is in the McKinleyville High School Library on February 28th. from 6-8 pm. Community members are invited to attend an opening reception and enjoy other Family Art Night activities such as make-and-take art project for all ages, an open ceramics lab, and refreshments.
photo by Christian Webb
photo by Kalyn Abeyta
Chesiree Katter holding her work in progress.
Cayla Lynch holds up her work in progress.
Junior Chesiree Katter used a different technique to realize her artistic vision. "The focal point of my project is an intricately patterned bird. I surrounded the bird with detailed decorative cut outs and then painted the whole thing with metallic watercolor. I used contrasting colors and gradations of value to emphasize certain areas of the composition. I was influenced by studying the art of contemporary Japanese artist Risa Fukui. I found inspiration in her use of line, texture, and intricate detail."
Other students were influenced by more traditional art forms. "My project is based on the concept of Notans, a Japanese art form that uses positive and negative space to express the idea of balancing light and dark," says junior Cole Davis. "I took the idea of a Notan and applied it to things I'm interested in. First I drew a Kudu, a type of antelope that I saw when I went on a safari in Africa, in the form of a Notan. Then I used a projector to enlarge my drawing and transfer it to a four foot high piece of plywood."
Through their experiences in art class, students are gaining a greater understanding of the importance of art in their lives.
"Making art allows me to express myself in unique and original ways. Art is important because it gives people an outlet for what they're feeling. For the artist, making art can be a way of coping and of helping others who are dealing with the same things," states Chesiree Katter.
"Art is an outlet. It takes your mind off all the struggles in life. Almost anything can be considered an art form if you think about it. I particularly enjoy working with wood, metal, and ceramics," says Cole Davis.
The projects inspired by the various cultures and artists will be on display in the Paper Arts show February 28-March 14 in the McKinleyville High School Library. Community members are invited to attend an opening reception on February 28th. from 6-8 pm. In addition to the art work, guests of all ages can make a shadow puppet, enjoy refreshments and visit the ceramics lab.
Ethan Hemphill-Haley and Sophia Haag working on their paper art projects.
Mack Arts Students Embrace Diversity
In his famous I Have a Dream speech, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
At McKinleyville High School many teachers use the celebration of Dr. King’s birthday as an opportunity to teach about his life and achievements. Many of our students have heard Dr. King’s message of peace and equality, and are applying it to their everyday lives and actions. After months of preparation and effort, Mack Arts photography and art students will be unveiling their Unity Through Diversity mural on January 17th from 6-8 pm on the MHS quad.
“The mural project allows us to see things from outside the school, that everyone is different; we just don’t know that until they come up to talk to us, or we go up to them and talk to them. So, we cannot really pass judgment,” says Mack Arts student Kevin Vigus.
“When we started brainstorming ideas for the mural, we weren't thinking about Dr. King specifically. We wanted to make a public artwork that celebrates the diversity of the MHS student body. It’s great that the unveiling is happening close to Dr. King’s birthday, when we reflect on his life and accomplishments. The mural ties in beautifully with his teachings,” says Mack Arts teacher Justine Smith.
Mack Arts students began the mural project by using Photoshop software to convert a self-portrait into a simplified “stencil” and then painted their portrait onto brightly colored wood panels. The stencil-look was inspired by the colorful silkscreens of Pop Art legend Andy Warhol and the stencil art of contemporary street artist Banksy. The finished Unity Through Diversity mural consists of 95 panels, measures 7 feet high by 17.5 feet long, and will be installed on quad at McKinleyville High School.
Above: Allison Hartley uses a detail brush on her mural panel.
Being part of the Unity Through Diversity project has empowered MHS students to be both learners and teachers. “The mural helps teach diversity and how everyone’s different, but we’re all the same at the same time. It really shows that in a physical way,” says Allison Hartley as she meticulously paints her portrait above. “It’s relevant to our modern time with the all of the equal rights issues that we always have going on in our society,” Hartley continues.
Students also chose an artist to give them ideas for creating their own artwork. "I chose Edward Gorey as my inspiration artist," says John Lopez. "Gorey uses black lines to make patterns and shading in his illustrations. His stories explore dark themes and remind me of Tim Burton."
Many students took the opportunity to explore different art techniques and materials, such as traditional pen and ink drawing. "Pen and ink is a new medium for me. I enjoy making quick, free form lines and then adding watercolor," says Sierra Joyner. "The black ink makes the colors stand out more and the drawings are neater with outlines. I chose E.H. Shepard, who illustrated the original Winnie the Pooh books, as my inspiration."
Tiffany Anderson uses watercolor and marker on her illustration inspired by Dr. Seuss.
Unique Portraits Photography Show
Portraits are one of the most common types of photographs made. It can be very challenging to make portraits that go above and beyond what we are used to seeing. The Unique Portraits exhibition is a showcase of photos made by Mack Arts students that take the art of portraiture in new directions.
The opening reception for Unique Portraits is on November 15th in the MHS Library from 6-8 pm. In addition to viewing the art work, there will be an open ceramics lab, make-and-take art projects for all ages, and refreshments to enjoy. The show will continue until December 6th.
Above: Austin Stockwell’s photo was used for the November Photography Show Poster. Austin set up the lighting and chose the prop for his intriguing self portrait.
Keisha Jamerson wanted to capture a certain mood in her portrait of classmate Ashlyn Holderread. “I chose Ashlyn as my model because she has soft, curvy features. I was getting a saddish vibe from her that day, so I had her look down and told her not to smile. I like the way the photo turned out. I think it communicates my ideas,” says Keisha.
When asked what’s it’s like to be a model for a photo shoot Ashlyn Holderread had this to say, “It’s a fun new experience. I am now part of Keisha’s art, I helped her make her idea reality. That’s a good feeling."
“I want to make my mural design something inspirational that will make people think when they look at it,” says Josh Sandige who chose Banksy, a well know mural artist, as inspiration for his art work. “I like to work with stencils, so Banksy is ideal. All of Bansky’s work has deeper meaning.”
Above: Josh Sandige holds his artist’s sketchbook
open to his research of Banksy, a famous mural artist.
Micalia Bideaux designed a panther standing on a rock formation with paw prints leading up to it. “I would paint my mural on the wall between the multipurpose room and the drama room. Many people would be able to see it because it is on the quad where students hang out during lunch and breaks. The meaning of my mural is to celebrate school spirit,” says Micalia.
Above: Micalia Bideaux holds up the rough draft
for her mural design.