Camas High School Art

Posted: March 6, 2017

Happy Monday! What is this picture you ask?  A community art project, created by almost 170 students.

Read about this amazing project for your dose of HOPE & JOY this week! Thanks to Sarah Widdop for guest authoring!!!

We have all interacted with public art at one time or another. Perhaps the flower on the street between Lutz Hardware and the Camas Library, designed and drawn by a CHS student, has put a smile on your face. Or maybe you aren’t quite sure what to think of those wolves who spend their time on the wall across from the Safeway gas station. You might pass by the bronze Bernese Mountain dog in Washougal who reminds you of Cooper, the AP Government/CHS preschool mascot. And yes, even those doodles that appear on your desks—they also generate a response. The great aspect of all of these works of art is that they prompt thinking and often bring joy to the mundane. This is exactly what Jarred Jackman and Rod Rauning hope for with their new installation at CHS. 
Since becoming coworkers almost two years ago, Rod and Jarred have talked about increasing the presence of visual art at CHS. This last fall, they agreed on a location and a feasible student project. They wanted the piece to be large enough to command attention, yet still allow for individual student creativity. Neither wanted to force their own ideas on students; rather, they wanted the students’ ideas to be present within the larger piece. Out of this vision came the work now hanging from the ceiling at the main entrance to CHS. 
Nearly 170 students created the objects included in the installation. Prior to the start of the project, both Rod and Jarred took their classes to view the space. Students were prompted to think about what kind of communication they wanted their piece to have with viewers. Aside from the required materials (each piece is made with plaster cloth), students were set free to build original and unique objects. 
So with 170 plaster objects, Jarred, Rod and the ever resourceful Bill Swacker, who became an integral part of the installation process, began hanging the pieces from the ceiling of CHS this Sunday. As Bill and Rod worked, Jarred reflected on the project: “High school is all about having a number of different experiences. We wanted students to experience success while also realizing how thought provoking public art can be.” 
The really cool thing about this project? Those 170 pieces of art were created by so many different types of students—the band student, the AP student, the athlete, the Skill Center student. Art is great in that it unites populations that may not always inherently connect. Who can’t connect this to a little bit of hope—that public art continues to gain value and popularity in American society and joy—that so many CHS students get to share pride in an inspirational piece? 
A few side notes about the project:
  • It took Rod, Jarred, and Bill 50 hours combined to install the work. 
  • Approximately 380 lbs of plaster was used. 
  • This is the first major art installation at CHS. 
  • Students grade 9-12 participated in the project. These students were from Rod Raunig’s “Everything in Art” first semester class and Jarred Jackman’s beginning ceramics class. 
  • Both Jarred and Rod also contributed their own sculptures to the project.

Here’s to the HOPE & JOY you help create by bringing students together!

Thank you!