The exhibits are arranged by the art teachers on their own time and by their own efforts.
According to Mikaela Richmond, Art Teacher at Kearney’s Park and Northeast Elementary Schools, student art is exhibited twice annually, once at the mall and, historically, once at the Museum of Nebraska Art.
Due to MONA’s closure for its construction and expansion project, this year’s exhibits were mounted at Kearney Public Library for the lower grades art work and at the Brickwalk Gallery for the KHS exhibit.
When held at MONA, the exhibits number in the hundreds; with less space in 2022, they still numbered in the dozens. The exhibits are arranged by the art teachers on their own time and by their own efforts. Individual pieces-whether drawing, painting, ceramic, or graphic-list the student and often the grade but never the teacher. For the teachers, the focus is on the student.
Still, the teaching of art is an essential part of a full education and Kearney Creates wants to honor all the extra efforts made by busy teachers-many shuttling between two schools-to honor their students and their work.
The teachers involved in 2022 included on the Elementary team Maria Beucke, Kameran Dostal, Megan Emkem, Rivkah Raffaeli, Mikaela Richmond. On the Middle School team Natasha Hahn and Greg Yochum. On the High School team Katrina Olmstead, Charlotte Dvorak, and Linda McFadden.
With such a massive undertaking-highlighting such a great number of talents-there is no way we can begin to present them all for our viewers, but we will make every effort each year to alert viewers to where and when the exhibits will be mounted, and we thank KPL and Brickwalk for stepping up to take MONA’s place for a season or two.
Our photo gallery is a small sampling of the work from both 2021 and 2022. It doesn’t represent any attempt on the part of Kearney Creates to “judge” the exhibit and the photos often depend on the accessibility from where the work has been mounted on the wall. Still, we think viewers will be able to see what great talent and effort these pieces represent.
By Chuck Peek, Editor, Kearney Creates