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Hastings College Open Space art program goes virtual

Normally dozens of high school students stay on the Hastings College campus for the Open Space program, but now they are creating their art virtually. (KSNB)
Normally dozens of high school students stay on the Hastings College campus for the Open Space program, but now they are creating their art virtually. (KSNB)(KSNB)
Published: Jun. 11, 2020 at 4:23 PM CDT
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Normally the Hastings College Open Space program is a chance for high school students to come to campus and be immersed in many different kinds of art and learn directly from the professors, but this year to COVID-19 they've had to move online.

Every day this week students have logged into Zoom to meet with a different professor each day. On Monday, students learned about art history drawings. Tuesday focused on sculptures, Wednesday was ceramics, on Thursday students met with a professor who specialized in digital art and learned about animation. Finally on Friday they will learn about alcohol ink painting.

About 30 high school students across the region applied to the program with their portfolios. The program lets them take a deep dive into the different mediums of art. Professors said it is a challenge to do things virtually, but there is still a lot students are getting from them.

“We all decided that it was sort of our responsibility and something we wanted to do to try and provide a creative positive outlet for these students especially at this time,” Department of Visual Arts Chair Aaron Badham said. “I think we thought that whatever format this came out in this was going to be successful.”

Students were sent boxes of materials and had to figure out how to make their projects work with the limitations.

“It was more of a conceptual problem and I gave them a set amount of materials, some very specific materials and sort of challenged them with the design challenge and a conceptual problem to solve,” Badham said. “We talked about how to develop ideas and how to design creative solutions and then they're kind of on their own.”

They had all week to work on the different prompts. The theme for the year is community so each of the pieces will reflect on the impact of art.

“I think it definitely has allowed the instructors to to tailor their courses or to create some context around their courses in order to help the students understand how art can help them to get through these times and respond to the times,” Badham said.

He also said it is not only a good recruitment tool for Hastings College but it's important to keep that passion for art going even though these classes can't be happening in person. When the artwork is complete they will be showcased on Facebook and Instagram on the Department of Visual Arts pages. They will also be on display on campus with the public can return.

List of students participating:

Lindsay Alderman of Erie High School in Frederick, Colorado

Mackenzie Baltzer of Chaparral High School in Parker, Colorado

Ansley Connolly of Gretna High School in Gretna, Nebraska

Sofie Curto of Waverly High School in Waverly, Nebraska

Margaret Driewer of Gretna High School in Gretna, Nebraska

Elizabeth Fox of Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska

Layne Haba of Doniphan-Trumbull High School in Trumbull, Nebraska

Megan Hathaway of Abraham Lincoln High School in Council Bluffs, Iowa

Emily Langford of Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska

Saraya Lilly of Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins, Colorado

Alexis Linnebach of Blue Valley West High School in Olathe, Kansas

Ana Lopez-Zurita of South High School in Omaha, Nebraska

Anamaria Magaña of Smith-Cotton High School in Sedalia, Missouri

Montanna Mitchell of Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska

Sophia Manzitto of South High School in Omaha, Nebraska

Aubrey Masdin of Arrupe Jesuit High School in Arvada, Colorado

Caitlin Nelepovitz of Lincoln Southwest High School in Lincoln, Nebraska

Enrique Perez of Harvard High School in Harvard, Nebraska

Aurora Poppino of Abraham Lincoln High School in Council Bluffs, Iowa

Spencer Price of Abraham Lincoln High School in Council Bluffs, Iowa

Emily Quackenbush of North High School in Omaha, Nebraska

Raeanne Sando of Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska

Alexandria Schmidt of Smith Center Junior-Senior High School in Smith Center, Kansas

Zoe Slinkard of Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska

Kaitlin Smith of Fort Calhoun Junior-Senior High School in Fort Calhoun, Nebraska

Layla Thomson of Grand Island Senior High School in Grand Island, Nebraska

Caragan Underwood of Abraham Lincoln High School in Council Bluffs, Iowa

Reagan Weidemann of Logan View High School in Hooper, Nebraska

Renee Williams of Nebraska City High School in Nebraska City, Nebraska

Cecilia Wonch of Arnold High School in Arnold, Nebraska

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