Middle School Artists Show the World Through Their Eyes
Each year, art teacher Ms. Yehee Shin searches for exhibits and contests for Middle School artists to show their work. It’s not about competition or determining who is the most talented, it’s about giving our aspiring artists real-world experience in interpreting ideas and creating for a wider audience. Whether it’s a local art show or a nationwide contest, these opportunities motivate our young artists and help build confidence in their abilities. This spring, four of her students will be featured in the Maryland Art Education Association’s quarterly magazine, MAEAGazette.
Who Is the MAEA?
The Maryland Art Education Association is a volunteer organization run by teachers for teachers. Their mission is to “Advocate for and advance art education in Maryland to fulfill human potential and promote global understanding.” They hold an annual conference for art teachers and feature student work at exhibits throughout the year and across the state. Ms. Shin has been connected to MAEA for years, first as a young artist and now as an art teacher.
“When I was in middle school, my work was chosen by MAEA for a show. That’s how I got really interested in making art — I didn’t think that I was artistic enough before that. It gave me the confidence to pursue my creativity and I want to give my students those same opportunities.” — Ms. Shin
From Friday Journal to Magazine Feature
Every Friday, Ms. Shin gives her class a sentence, word or an image to inspire their weekly drawing journal. Through that prompt, middle schoolers use the elements and principles of art and design to explore the limits of their imaginations. They can choose from an array of 2D materials including markers, metallic pens, oil pastels, watercolor paint, colored pencils and more. The only requirement is that they communicate their own unique ideas through their work.
This fall, our middle schoolers used this method to create pieces to submit to the “See Through My Eyes” MAEA student art exhibition at the BWI airport gallery. Although their work wasn’t selected for the BWI show, MAEA reached out to feature Severn along with other area schools in an article for the winter 2020 edition of MAEAGazette. This kind of experience teaches our kids the value of putting yourself out there in art...and life. When one opportunity ends, something unexpected might be right around the corner.
Authentic learning is part of the fabric of our Middle School curriculum; it's something we strive for in every discipline. With a real audience for their work, our developing artists feel a sense of pride and accomplishment in knowing that their artistry is valued outside of the classroom setting. Past Middle School exhibitions and features include:
The Annual AIMS Walters Art Show
The Annual Daffodil Show
The Anne Arundel County "Recycling in 3D" Sculpture Contest
About Middle School Art at Severn
Art classes in our Middle School offer an introduction to the elements and principles of art in both two-dimensional and three-dimensional formats. Students have the opportunity to work in a variety of traditional and digital media while exploring artistic themes within diverse historical and cultural contexts. Every project includes a component of self-reflection as our students learn to communicate their unique ideas to each other and make broader connections to the world around them.
If you’d like to check out what our Middle School artists are up to throughout the year, Ms. Shin showcases their work just outside Ms. Limon’s office. She keeps the gallery wall and display case up-to-date with their latest creations. Middle School artists also show their work in the McCleary Gallery during our winter and spring art performances. We can’t wait to see what they’ll do next!