Works from the teen imagination in Avon
Vail CO, Colorado
AVON, Colorado ” By the time Edgar Puebla reached Battle Mountain High School in Eagle-Vail, he already had a reputation.
His middle school art teachers had alerted the high school art department about his incoming talent. “They kept saying, ‘Is he in art class? He needs to be in art class,” recalled Berneil Bannon, Battle Mountain’s art department chairwoman.
Shying away from art classes, Puebla honed his craft sketching in a notebook. Page after page showed beautiful girls he spotted in magazines; “If I think a girl is pretty, I just take the picture out and draw it,” the now 18-year-old senior said.
Having enrolled in art classes his senior year, Puebla has found his niche. When teachers directed him to make a box, he shaped clay into an exquisite temple with Roman pillars and a roof lid. Another sculpture shows a lion, the body arranged in life-like proportion.
Those sculptures are among nearly 100 pieces of art on display at the Avon Public Library. The exhibit showcases work from Battle Mountain art students. Members of the public can peruse the collection through the end of the month.
Lately, art has been on trial inside the nation’s public schools. Some districts have trimmed their art programs, citing budget crunches, while others have fretted that standardized testing will snuff out the fine arts.
Perhaps no one mounts a better defense for the arts than the teachers.
“There’s no such thing as standardized kids,” Bannon said. “You can’t standardize kids, and so this big push of standardized tests ” they have a good place in education but they’re not the beginning and the end. When we’re talking about problem-solving skills, life-solving skills, they get that in this class.”
When students master the principles of design, they reap other, intangible benefits, teachers say.
“I think there’s an inherent need in every individual to be creative,” art teacher Jennifer Junto said.
Creativity takes many forms. Like a pastel of a blue tear dripping from an eye. Senior Molly Allard said she created the piece one night after abruptly ditching plans to draw a hockey player. The eye, which shows a hand holding a pupil in the shape of a heart, symbolizes a lost love, Allard said.
“I was actually excited about it because I’d stayed up ’til, like 3 o’clock in the morning the night before it was due and I had no idea how it was going to turn out,” she said. “After I looked at it again after I woke up, I was like, ‘I really like this. It’s pretty good, actually.'”
The art at the library ranges from paintings to photos to vases. Senior Stephanie Miletich contributed earrings decorated with origami paper, along with a wire necklace.
Many students say they retreat to the art room to experiment. Miletich says art is her hobby, one she plans to keep after she leaves for college to study business. Other students, like Puebla, dream of a career in art.
“I have been in different galleries and, you know, people go in there and take a look at those pictures and they buy some of the paintings and put them in their homes,” he said. “So, I don’t know, I just want to be famous more than anything.”
High Life Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 748-2938 or email@example.com.
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