By Alicia Dziak

In the SGI middle school, art is offered as one of the “exploratories,” and students in grades 6-8 get to explore art daily for one 10-week marking period per year. For those who really want to further unleash their creativity, the art teacher, Kristin Jaeger, offers eighth graders the chance to be part of the 8th Grade Art Club.

“The MS 8th Grade Art Club is divided into two groups, each meeting one day a week,” Jaeger explained. “We create artworks that are community-focused, which are chosen based on subject, interest and timing.”

Each meeting can be very different depending on the task at hand. “I may be introducing the Art Club members to the project itself sharing information using websites, handouts and visuals. We may be brainstorming subject ideas, learning new art media or be busy in the art production process,” Jaeger explained.

There are only 12 students total, and while the club is open to all eighth grade students, enrollment is currently closed, and Jaeger pointed out, “I may reopen enrollment later in the school year, but it is difficult to allow students to join at any point in time because we may be in the middle of projects and have deadlines to meet.”

She added that by only having a handful of students “I enjoy having the opportunity to work with small groups, something that does not happen in your typical art class.

Interested students and their parents had to sign a contract, and commit to completing all in-class projects, for those currently enrolled in art as an exploratory, before being elegible to participate in Art Club projects.

While the Art Club just began meeting last week, a few projects have been planned, although the whole year has not yet been mapped out.

“In the past, we have participated in the Drug-Free New Year Art & Poetry Competition, the SPCA poster contest (both of which we had several winners!), and the Springville Dairy Festival (the students won prizes for this as well!),” said Jaeger.

The students also create artwork and use media that the Art Club members have interest in learning about and exploring further. These projects can become an integral part of the students growing art portfolios that they will continue to develop in the High School Art program and are necessary for entrance into a college arts program.

“My goal is for all of the members of our Art Club to build relationships and inspire each other through the creative projects we participate in,” Jaeger noted. “I hope they will inspire other students, staff and community members through their artwork as well.”