Thanks to a new partnership with Dayton’s K12 TEJAS Gallery, art students at CJ now have access to a better variety of materials, a bigger studio and local professional artists who they can rub elbows with on a weekly basis.
On foot, it takes CJ students about 5-7 minutes walking with their teacher to get to K12 Gallery for class.
Principal John Marshall began exploring the idea of a collaboration last school year, not long after K12 relocated from its 6,000 sq. foot headquarters on Third Street to a new 37,000 sq. foot location on Jefferson Street -- just a .3 mile, 7 minute walk from CJ’s campus.
“Our partnership with K12 is the result of some very fortunate timing, with the gallery’s move south, combined with our school’s goal to connect kids with resources right here in our own community, downtown Dayton,” Marshall said. “In that regard, it also fit perfectly with the City Connects model of student support that we've embraced over the last five years.”
Teaching the ceramics course partnered with K12 is instructor JoAnn Lieswyn. Lieswyn has served at the organization as a TEJAS (Teen Educational & Joint Adult Studio) teaching artist for about two years. She has also taught at the Dayton Art Institute and presently at Rosewood Gallery in Kettering, where she has spent the last 15 years.
“Ms. Lieswyn is a great teacher. She teaches us about the clay itself, how to use the different tools, how to fire the clay, and she tests and quizzes us over what we learn,” said Deter Spees '16, a first-year ceramics student. He plans to take advanced ceramics second semester.
Deter and his classmates get to spend one block period (about an hour and 30 minutes) per week learning at and working in the studio at K12.
“The place is amazing,” Spees said. “There’s so much art and creative things happening there.”
During their first trip to K12 on August 20-21, students got to meet and speak with artist Phyllis Niemeyer (pictured above). They watched and asked questions as Niemeyer worked on Dayton’s Summer Mural Project on the southern exterior wall of the historic, repurposed building. (The mural project was recenlty the subject of DDN article by Meredith Moss. Watch video below.)
“Phyllis talked about the reasons behind painting the giant mural, the planning process for a project that large, and how various members of the community -- of varying artistic skill levels -- could all be involved,” Lieswyn said.
Throughout the school year, students will be exposed to some of the behind-the-scenes aspects of the art world such as the process of planning and hosting an exhibit, according to Lieswyn.
“This collaboration is a way of expanding the art experience that CJ students have."
Students will also get hands-on experience with specialized tools, equipment and different types of clay and ceramic glazes -- items that are not stocked in the art classrooms at CJ. The course is 80 percent studio time and 20 percent lecture.
“I hope students will understand the role ceramics plays in their lives,” Lieswyn said. “My goal is also to inspire a deeper appreciation for art, help them understand how to critique it, and help them develop their own tastes in art,” she said.
Among projects in the works, Lieswyn said she looks forward to collaborating with longtime CJ teacher and art department chair Diana Barr and her art and photography classes on making ceramic bowls to donate to the October Empty Bowls Dinner, which benefits the House of Bread.
Students who would like to get involved, but who are not taking a ceramics course, are encouraged to join the Art Club. For more information, contact one of the art teachers.
Summer Mural Project
Dayton's K12 Gallery
Video courtesy of www.MyDaytonDailyNews.com.
Photo (top) courtesy of Michelle A. Jannazo, Education Director, K12 Gallery for Young People/TEJAS.