JEROME, Idaho (KLIX) – For the past 15 years, Jerome High School graphic art teacher David Quinley has seen a lot of student artists come through his classroom. The recent bunch is working with technology mediums his earlier students didn’t have, but the art they are making are just as creative.

Image courtesy of Jerome High School
Image courtesy of Jerome High School

On Wednesday, the public will have the chance to see some of that art. That’s when Quinley’s graphic art students – a mix of 19 sophomores, juniors and seniors – will display their work at an open house from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Jerome School District office.

“I got the idea a few years ago when the old junior high school building was renovated and the walls were blank,” Quinley said, noting that every year since then he’s tried to do an event in which students can showcase their work. The staff members who occupy the building today seem grateful that the walls now are not so empty. “It’s been really nice.”

The art will remain in the building until May, when he’ll replace the pieces with new student art.

The event Wednesday evening will showcase some 55 works of framed graphic art and many more pieces in a slideshow presentation. At least two of them will be by sophomore Travis Kissinger.

One of his images is of a tree that changes as it is turned. “It really speaks to me,” Kissinger said. “It conveys nature in the simplest of terms.” His second image is of a near-desolate landscape.

Students use a variety of technology – including digital photography, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and InDesign – to create and manipulate their art. A piece can take anywhere from one to three days to complete. But besides learning graphics, students are taught more important lessons.

“Like how to cooperate with other people and businesses,” Kissinger said, explaining that they create posters for local companies and sporting events.

Quinley, who has taught at Jerome High School for 15 years but has been an educator for much longer, has seen a lot of talented students over the years. He’s also seen how art, because of technology, has changed. And how it continues to change.

Besides being a graphic arts teacher, for instance, Quinley also coordinates the yearbook staff. He said the animation class, taught by Daniel Blackburn, is incorporating barcodes into the yearbooks that users can scan with their smartphones to see online videos.

“The video class has really been working well with the annuals,” he said. “Just as technology has affected the news media, technology has affected art. It has changed everything.”

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