“I needed them outside. I needed to get around,” she said. “I needed them to look at the world.”
With the acrylic project, Nieske again asked his students to look at the world, but through the prism of the pandemic and how it has affected every corner of the earth.
“The pandemic has brought every person from all walks of life together,” Niekse said. “I think it’s important, especially for me as an art teacher, to teach these kids that we are one right now. We wanted to represent as many parts of the planet as possible.”
Students were given a region or the world, a culture or an artist to inspire their painting.
Tatum Krolak received Thomas Cole as an artist to emulate. She wanted to create a landscape painting with water, so she chose “Distant View of Niagara Falls” as a reference.
Krolak said she learned several painting techniques, but her favorite was finger painting on trees.
“You say hands on then use a brush, but really hands on, using my fingers to blend things, I love that,” she said.
But Krolak had a surprise teacher for the finger painting technique.
School Resource Officer Lewis Burgess found himself with his own slate and painting alongside students in Niekse’s class. Burgess also helped some of the students with their projects.