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Nationally recognized artists visit Dayton High classroom

By ThisIsReno

a state of change bookCAPITAL CITY ARTS INITIATIVE NEWS RELEASE – Dayton High art teacher Malaynia Wick is always interested in new ways to help educate her art students. When Dayton Task Force members approached her in the Fall, and asked if she’d like to have professional artists visit her classroom as guest lecturers and teachers, she was excited by the opportunity. The Task Force, a strategy group with Healthy Communities Coalition, partnered with the Capital City Arts Initiative (CCAI) to fund three professional artists to visit.

Stephen Reid as a guest teacher on March 26. He gave two workshops at DHS, one for Wick’s Portofolio Art Class and the other for her Advanced Placement art painting class. Reid, of Dayton, has a masters in Sculpture from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, but his art spans the disciplines of ink and watercolor painting, sculpture, installation, and printmaking. His work has been shown nationally and in Asia, and his paintings are housed at the VCU Medical College as well as in several private collections.

During lessons at Dayton High, Reid asked students to try to re-create a piece of artwork exactly as shown ,using yardsticks, compasses, rulers, charcoal, etc. Reid used the lesson as an example of ways to “think outside the box.” Christel Passink of CCAI, who observed Reid’s lessons, commented, “I had not seen this type of ‘instructions’ art before. The goal of this workshop was to impress students on how every person thinks differently, to think out of the box and that it’s human nature to show their own individualism even when they don’t realize they are doing it.”

A few days after Reid’s visit to Dayton High, CCAI brought professional artist Scott MacLeod of Oakland, California to Wick’s classroom as a guest lecturer. His fiction, poetry, theater and critical writings have been widely published in the U.S. and, in translation, abroad. MacLeod has given over 100 performances in 13 countries and co-produced several international cultural exchange projects between USA, France, the Soviet Union and the Czech Republic. MacLeod gave the students practical advice about advancing their careers as artists, and gave an illustrated presentation with examples of the current trend towards coworking spaces in the San Francisco Bay region. He emphasized that one of the best things an artist can do for his or her career is to “help other artists, even if it seems inconvenient to do so.”

On April 22, CCAI is bringing multi-talented biologist, writer and artist Laura Cunningham to Dayton High for a presentation to the school’s science, English and art classes. Cunningham is trained in paleontology and science illustration and has been a scientific illustrator for the Museum of Paleontology at University of California, Berkley, and has created mural exhibits for many museums. Her work has been featured in museums and art shows across the nation. She has worked with the U.S. Geological Survey Biological Resource Division analyzing amphibian declines in the Sierra Nevada and amassing species inventories in Death Valley. Her book, “A State of Change: Forgotten Landscapes of California,” is a result of 20 years of research. The book includes paintings of California’s grizzlies, condors and grasslands.

The Capital City Arts Initiative is an artist-centered organization committed to the encouragement and support of artists and the arts and culture of Carson City and the surrounding region through art projects and exhibitions, live events, arts education programs, artist residencies, and online projects
For more information, go to www.arts-initiative.org or call Christel Passink at 775-450-3842. Capital City Arts Initiative has an on-going partnership with Healthy Communities Coalition of Lyon and Storey to bring professional artists to schools in Silver Springs and Dayton. For more information about those efforts, contact Quest Lakes at Healthy Communities Coalition at 775-287-7598.

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