Creative Advocates: Poplarville Art I students win awards

Published 7:00 am Saturday, November 14, 2015

Poplarville High School Art teacher Katrina Clark teaching her class about artist’s cards.  Photos by Cassandra Favre

Poplarville High School Art teacher Katrina Clark teaching her class about artist’s cards.
Photos by Cassandra Favre

Last month, fourteen of Poplarville High School’s Art I students entered the Wild Things Youth Art Contest and Exhibition in Lacombe, Louisiana and four won awards for their artwork.
After only a half a semester in her class, teacher Katrina Clark said she was proud of her first year students’ entries and how much they learned during their first ventures as artists.
This is Clark’s second year as an art teacher at Poplarville High School. She has a Master of Fine Art from Mississippi College.
She begins the semester by engaging her students’ creative minds.
“First, I teach them thought, not technique,” she said, “so they’re not afraid of creating.”
From there, Clark moves on to the basics of drawing, which includes size relationships, sight measurements and value drawing. While learning value drawing, students look at light and dark shades while contour drawing requires them to look at the edges to ensure they have the correct shapes.
The relationships between colors are further explored when the students pick up their brushes to learn the basics of painting, which includes mixing colors and color schemes. For example, monochromatics involves using one color in different values, Clark said.
Students also learn about atmospheric perspective and the how the relationships in the atmosphere affect the contrast of value, intensity and detail, she said.
Last week, the students began their journey into pottery, where they will not only learn how to make different pieces, but also facts about other cultures, Clark said.
“Their first piece was a Japanese tea bowl,” Clark said. “They also wrote a haiku and carved it into their bowls. We discussed Chinese and Asian cultures and then the students found a leaf to imprint in their tea bowls.”
Students also took a drawing of their own creature made during their second week of school and turned it into a clay sculpture, Clark said.
Even if her students don’t plan on becoming artists, Clark said they still may want to decorate their homes with pieces of art. So she also teaches the students tips regarding what to look for when collecting art.
“The goal of the class is to give them more of a creative mind,” Clark said. “That is key to any success, no matter what you do, whether it be a mechanic or a car salesman. We excercise the creative side of the mind so they can be more successful as adults in whatever they do.”
In order to enter the Wild Things Youth Art Contest and Exhibition, students were required to submit an entry portraying native plants, wildlife and habitats of Louisiana.
Sophomore Tanner Miley’s drawing of a duck won third place; an accomplishment that made him feel good. For his drawing, he used 2B (darker) and 2H (lighter) pencils.
“I’ve learned a lot about painting and techniques to create art,” Miley said. “Art is important because a lot of other classes require what you’ve learned in art to use in projects. In health class, we had to draw a lot of things and this class helped with that.”
Senior Hailegh Shoemake’s chose to draw cattails because she wanted to portray something other than an animal and because the plants are native to Mississippi.
“I looked at a picture of the plants and the different values of the greens and browns,” Shoemake said. “I focused on lighter values to show the sun shining down and how detailed the sun’s rays makes everything. Values bring out the main picture. Art doesn’t have to be pleasing to everyone’s eyes, it just has to have a meaning.”
Shoemake’s piece won honorable mention. Poplarville High School students Shelby Ladner and Cole Dedeaux also received honorable mentions.
To view photographs of the student’s artwork, visit the Poplarville School District’s website at and click on the news and info tab and then PHS.

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