An artistic flourish, ASD turns to drive-in exhibit to keep long-standing tradition alive

Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 6:43 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Alaska is a state filled with artistic talent, especially among it’s young people, but over the last year the pandemic has made it difficult to show off those talents to the masses. This month, thanks to a bit of innovation and a large projector, that will change.

“You know Youth Art Month is a national show sponsored by the Council For Art Education and we’ve participated for 49 years in this show and there’s no way that COVID was going to get in the way of giving students the opportunity,” said Leah Maltbie, the fine arts curriculum coordinator for the Anchorage School District.

In order to ensure that students in the district are able to participate in the 49th Annual Student Art Show and have their work seen, a plan had to be developed.

In a normal year, this exhibit would take place at the Anchorage Museum. Due to all the proximity restrictions of the pandemic, that wasn’t an option. Instead, each Friday from March 5 through April 3, a drive-in slideshow will be held at various area schools.

  • March 5: Service High School, 7 p.m.
  • March 12: East High School, 7:30 p.m.
  • March 19: Service High School, 8:30 p.m.
  • March 26: Chugiak High School, 9 p.m.
  • April 2: West High School, 9 p.m.

Pictures of the great works that Anchorage students have created will be projected onto a wall as part of an hour and a half long show.

ASD Superintendent Deena Bishop will speak, along with Fine Arts Director Dr. Bruce Wood and Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson. Middle and high school bands, orchestras and choirs will perform, all of which you can hear by tuning the show in on your car’s radio.

Though this will clearly be a unique way to display the artwork of ASD students, art teacher Scott McDonald says it is important that they have the chance to present the fruits of their labor.

“I’m always telling kids in any kind of technical or artistic process, you’re coming up with ideas, you’re making it work, you’re playing with it and getting it right and then the last step is to show it and that’s really important. Young kids will just give stuff to their parents or aunties or whatever, put it on the refrigerator but it’s really important to do something with that art work,” McDonald said.

More than 500 pieces of artwork will be represented in the show which, along with the Friday programs at various schools, will also air on the front of the Anchorage Museum every night at sundown between March 5 and April 3.

For those who’d still rather stay home there will be an online option as well.

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