Teachers Share Artwork Based on Blue Theme

July 5, 2017 ~ The imagination and talents of Olathe's art instructors is on display through mid-September in the Education Center, 14160 Black Bob Road. Dozens of K-12 art teachers are exhibiting their own 2-D and 3-D artwork that focuses on the color blue.

From a watercolor piece simply titled "Blue" to a digitally colored pencil drawing named "Adventures in The Big Blue," the teachers found many ways to express themselves. Some went with the literal color blue while others homed in on a "blue" feeling.

This was the first time for a themed exhibit for staff, and the response was very positive according to Fine Arts Coordinator Martha Gabel. The idea for a themed exhibit came up while Gabel was working with some art teachers to plan and schedule future exhibits.

"The art staff brainstormed some potential themes and when they voted, 'blue' was it!" Gabel said. "We purposefully left the theme open to each teacher's individual interpretation of 'blue' and how that might be conveyed through their work. We had wonderful participation this year resulting in an excellent exhibit with a little bit of a unique twist!"

painting of child's paint set “Everything but Blue” is the title of Crystal Ward’s acrylic on canvas painting. The Sunnyside Elementary art teacher noticed that blue is often the first color her students use up during the year. “My students, no matter how many times I tell them not everything has to be blue, they use all the blue in their watercolor palette,” she wrote in her artist’s statement. “I decided this would be a great subject to paint: my students’ watercolor palettes.”
photo of boys on beach “This photo features both of my sons exploring the ocean for the first time at Coronado Beach near San Diego,” wrote Olathe South High School art teacher Randy Traylor. “In addition to being produced with a blue mask, the photo was taken during a ‘blue’ moment in all of our lives.”
mixed media piece of artwork “This Art Teacher Doesn’t Have the Blues” is the title of Natalie Sprague’s mixed-media piece. The Bentwood Elementary art teacher says she’s “addicted to texture, both visual and actual. The tile that is resting on the easel was created using alcohol inks. Turquoise is one of my very favorite colors. That drawing mannequin represents me.”
stained glass artwork “I used reclaimed beveled glass circles from a previous leaded glass window as my design inspiration,” Richard Nordstrom wrote about his cathedral glass project. The Mission Trail Middle School teacher said he is “continually drawn to geometric designs in all media. I also enjoy the depth that is created via overlapping of cut glass shapes.”
colored pencil drawing of bird California Trail Middle School art teacher Megan Wendleton used construction paper and colored pencil to create this bluebird. “Birds have a lot of symbolism in my life and I am drawn to them as subjects in artwork,” she wrote. “I worked with a layer of cut construction paper to create an interaction between the two colors of paper. I wanted emphasis on the bird so I added some color and value to draw the eye in.”