Barnwell Alums and Teacher Artwork Highlighted in Mentor Me Exhibit

Posted on 10/08/2018
Barnwell Alums and Teacher Artwork Highlighted in Mentor Me Exhibit

Highlighting student accomplishments is an exciting way to recognize students for their triumphs. Athletic and academic achievements come with easy ways to track goals and share statistics. But some programs can be a little tricky and don’t present as many options to show off the growth and progress that students make. With fine arts, it can be difficult to show how much a student has progressed over the course of a semester and demonstrate how students have honed their skills.

Barnwell art teacher Holly Reel decided to take advantage of a chance to show that growth and have her student’s artwork shown in an exhibit. The Mentor Me program at the Foundry Arts Centre was the perfect opportunity to showcase their work. With so many talented students to choose from, Reel decided to develop an application process that included a writing prompt about how they felt they were guided and mentored in their art classes at Barnwell.

The student and teacher artwork on display at the Foundry Arts Centre.
Artwork as displayed from left to right:
Bonnie Jang, Penelope Edwards,
Holly Reel, and Emily Armbruster.

“I think that having students decided whether or not they wanted to have their work in an exhibition and then having a sort of ‘application’ process for them was very important,” said Reel. “Many art shows are juried. My artists had to take the time to reflect and submit a response to me, and I acted as the judge for this show.”

A total of eight students responded, which allowed her to select three worthy artists: Emily Armbruster, Penelope Edwards, and Bonnie Jang - all freshmen at Francis Howell North High School. “I was thrilled when I found out my art was picked,” said Armbruster. “I was proud of myself and I felt like I accomplished something incredible.” Reel was also able to showcase her work, as well as the work of her students.

The Mentor Me Exhibit is part of the Mosaics Fine Arts Festival, currently in its 23rd year. The pieces were put on display in September and October. The show was curated with artwork from Northwest, Hazelwood, Winfield, and Fort Zumwalt schools, with the age of the artists ranging from elementary to high school.

“I believe opportunities like Mentor Me are important for young artists,” said Reel. “It is a delightful feeling to have your work on display.” Not only did these artists receive valuable lessons in the classroom, but at the exhibit as well. “This experience has helped me grow as an artist by showing me that it is possible for people to enjoy my art, and hopefully understand the deeper meaning behind my artwork,” said Armbruster.

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