The end of October ushered in a closing period to many things, but for the art students of Huntingdon Area High School, it began a new period of learning and exploration.
Darren Shultz, a local spray-paint artist, recently visited HAHS Oct. 29-31 to hold a guest artist workshop and teach students about his medium of spray paint art. Students from classes like advanced art, advanced media, yearbook, and even those with independent studies, all braved the wet and dreary weather outside to learn about spray painting.
HAHS art student Kya Carthen described that, “On the first day, he mainly talked about what he does and how he does it.” The days following, she said, were more focused on the students practicing and experimenting themselves with the materials.
On the third day, there was a lot of activity happening at the station outside. Two large graffiti pieces hung under tent covers, one done by students and one done by Shultz, as a group of students congregated around two makeshift wooden tables to practice their abilities. Although the space was rather compact, the students made it work by sharing their paint, smocks, and gloves.
The station had been filled with at least 20 people at a time, as whole classes had come out to experiment.
“The main goal is to explore a new style of art from a local artist that no one in the HAHS art program has been exposed to before,” Duncan Wentzel stated. It was no surprise then that station had been so popular with students yearning to try a new medium.
The learners were free to roam and create whatever they were inspired to as teachers Erin Shaffer and Mary Ann Buckley observed and discussed the works from the sidelines.
As Buckley described the guest artist workshop, she stated, “there is teaching, learning, and end product design all happening at once.”
The learning process did not only cycle from teachers to students, either. The students all collaborated and learned from each other on pieces, and even teachers had ventured outside to try their hand at these creations. In a switch of positions, HAHS English teacher Heidi Werner came outside to learn a quick lesson about spray paint art from student Frank Hawbaker.
The somewhat chaotic environment was filled with an air of excitement as the students were granted access to unleash their potential. Throughout the three-day period, learners were able to explore more aspects of their creativity and connect with an amazing local artist, which is an opportunity they all appreciated.