BMCC Art Instructor Nika Blasser Hosts Pendleton High School Students for a Hands-On Art Experience

Last Updated on May 23, 2024 by Jordan Monaco

On a sunny afternoon, Pendleton High School art students visited Blue Mountain Community College (BMCC) for an immersive art experience hosted by BMCC art instructor, Nika Blasser. The highlight of their visit was a guided exploration of the Feves Art Gallery’s current exhibit, “Local Color,” featuring works by prominent local artists. The students focused particularly on a captivating piece by local artist Shari Dallas, which became the cornerstone of their study.

The exhibit “Local Color” showcases a variety of pieces that celebrate the rich and diverse landscape of the region. Shari Dallas’s artwork, with its striking use of color blocking and abstract design, drew significant attention from the students. Dallas’s piece artistically represents the transition from hills to mountains to sky through bold, vibrant blocks of color, embodying the essence of the local terrain.

Blasser led the students through an in-depth analysis of Dallas’s work, discussing techniques such as color blocking and the abstract representation of natural landscapes. The students examined how Dallas’s use of color and form creates a dynamic and engaging piece that invites viewers to interpret the landscape in new ways.

Following their gallery tour, the students were eager to apply their newfound knowledge in a practical setting. In the BMCC art classroom, they embarked on a collaborative painting project inspired by Dallas’s style. Each student group was provided with separate painting boards, and tasked with creating their own interpretations of the color transitions and abstract designs they had studied.

Throughout the day, different groups of students added their unique touches to the collective project. They experimented with various colors and paint strokes, drawing inspiration from the techniques observed in Dallas’s piece. The process encouraged creativity and teamwork, as each group’s contribution built upon the last, culminating in a single, cohesive artwork.

The final piece, a vibrant and collaborative painting, beautifully simulated Shari Dallas’s style while showcasing the students’ individual creativity. It was a testament to the educational value of hands-on, experiential learning, and the power of art to bring people together.

Nika Blasser’s initiative provided Pendleton High School students with a valuable opportunity to engage with professional art in a meaningful way. By combining gallery study with practical application, the students not only deepened their appreciation for local art but also developed their own artistic skills. The event was a resounding success, leaving the students inspired and more connected to their local art community.

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