ST. JOHN | The Lake Central High School art staff Sandra Bushong (retired), Christine Colle, Paul Volk, Maureen Yaeger, teaches a variety of courses, from ceramics to 3-D art, and enter student work in up to four regional exhibits each school year.
Lake Central students enter the South Suburban College Regional Show, Valparaiso University Secondary School Showcase, HS Art Exhibit at Calumet College and the South Shore Arts Tri-County HS Art Show. In addition, Lake Central sponsors an Advanced Placement Art Exhibit that showcases AP Senior Student portfolios.
The goal is to to offer students the opportunity to develop both cognitive and creative skills, hoping that the arts will "develop a student's self-confidence, self-discipline and pride when creating high quality work."
"Ceramics has truly brought out my creativity. I was proud and grateful to have been awarded second place (in the Calumet College of St. Joseph HS Art Exhibit) for my Ceramic piece. It was challenging in size and inspired by nature in form," senior Nada Issa said.
This year, the Lake Central artists captured Best Overall School honors at the South Shore Arts Tri-County HS Art Show for the fifth straight year.
"Lake Central never shows mediocre work. Every piece in Lake Central’s display could stand alone," said Mary McClelland, gallery manager for South Shore Arts. "Every piece is strong."
McClelland also praised the LC art teachers for giving students "the freedom to express themselves fully and the guidance to follow the 'rules' of art. This, in turn, encourages the students to produce their best work."
The school also earned a Best of Show award in the spring exhibit for junior Hannah Pittman with her Sgraffito ceramic tile, and five other individual awards.
"My pieces all have something to do with an inspiration from nature," Pittman said. "I really enjoy ceramics because I find that making it is relaxing and self-expressive. I’ve spent a lot of time working on them, but the hard work paid off."
Lake Central also won five awards at the South Suburban College Regional Show, two awards at Calumet College of St. Joseph and three awards at Valparaiso University.
"Lake Central always exhibits outstanding artwork," said Martin Martinez, Media and Fine Arts Faculty Development associate and Bernard Gallery curator at Calumet College of St. Joseph. "The(ir) ceramic work. . . is on par with work that is exhibited in Chicago and in juried exhibits by established artists.
"Lake Central has very talented students and very talented teachers who push their students to be the best."