Art alums showcase pupils’ work at annual high school juror show

While area high school students received recognition for their work at the Art & Design department’s annual High School Art Exhibition on March 2, the artistic pieces were also a source of pride for a few former SIUE students.

SIUE graduate Kari Casper-Bassler, right, stands with her student, Belleville West senior Sarah Schofield. Schofield's colored pencil design, "Hiding behind the True colors" was selected for entry into the competitive High School Art Exhibition, hosted by the Art & Design department. (Photo by Joseph Lacdan)

Five SIUE alums, who are now high school art teachers had their students’ work on display at the competitive exhibition which featured 62 pieces of art from 15 area high schools. Belleville West student Amy Denning, a Juror award winner, had classes with SIUE alums Rob Thornberry and Kari Casper-Bassler, both art teachers. Denning earned a Juror award for her ink piece titled “The Lesser of All Evils.” West senior Sarah Schofield, who enrolled in Casper-Bassler’s graphic design class also earned entry into the competitive show, which was juried by artist Robert Maguire. Other SIUE alumni who had their student’s work accepted into the exhibition were Bridget Heck of Alton High School, Dan Krause also from Belleville West and Gabriella Hatton of Edwardsville High School.

Heck, who teaches photography at Alton, had three of her students earn entry into the show for their artistic works: Samuel Gobel, Brooke Moran and Holly Seibold. Hatton’s student, Hannah Wente had design made of charcoal titled “Kennedy,” that was accepted into the show.

“This show is student work but it’s just as much about the educators,” Art Education professor Justin Sutters said. “We are really trying to highlight high quality art education. Because there’s been a pattern here where works continually get in from specific schools so it’s more of a reflection of the quality of the program as it is of the student work.”

The Art & Design's annual juried High School Exhibition featured 62 art pieces from area high school students including this ceramic design. (Photo by Joseph Lacdan)

Casper-Bassler said her time as an SIUE student shaped her as a teacher today. Casper-Bassler, a 2000 SIUE graduate, credits Emeritus professor Joe Weber and the late Jerilynn Changar with teaching her how to create lesson plans and how to write a course curriculum.

“I don’t think we could have had better professors,” Casper-Bassler said. “They were very tough on us, but at the same time because they were so tough we grew a lot. I felt incredibly prepared.”

Casper-Bassler said SIUE’s curriculum for educators taught her to embrace diversity.

“SIUE really changed me as a human being,” Casper-Bassler said. “I took a class called Teaching in Multi-Culturalism, and it really explored every nationality and really tackled all stereotypes and going through that class made me a completely different person.”

Schofield said Casper-Bassler’s all-inclusive teaching style has impacted their creative designs. Casper Bassler has individual meetings with students each day and she attempts to understand each students’ life experiences.

“She’s not like any other teacher,” Schofield said. “She’s very bubbly and energetic. Whenever she talks she’s very motivational. She’s very in-depth in a way that everybody can understand.”

Parkway North High School student Megan Videmschek won the Dr. Jerilynn Changar Memorial Best in Show award for her oil on canvas piece, “Fix Your Body.” The runner up was Veena Puthanpurayil of Glenwood High School for her ink design, “Boom.”

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