SAAC will host an Arts in Education (AIE) photography exhibit in the Merkle Gallery May 16-28, 2019. “Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder” is a student exhibit created by gifted and talented students from fourth grade in the El Dorado School District and Junction City’s fourth through sixth grade gifted and talented students.

AIE is an organization sponsored by the Arkansas Arts Council, which pairs artists to work with teachers and key staff members to develop programs and activities for the students that combine current curriculum with creative expression.

Lisa Tarver, the AIE artist in charge of this photography project, said, “My goal in both of these residencies was to present students with the possibilities of photography as art, as well as to help them discover their own unique visions. I was very pleased with the outcome of these two art residencies. I love working with students and helping them find art in their world through photography.”

Junction City students, grades 4-6, created still life compositions to photograph from flowers, fruit and vegetables. A print of the still life was hand tinted with markers, after which the tinted photo was enlarged and matted for the exhibit. Each student also wrote a poem about their work. Teresa Brady, Junction City Fourth-Sixth grade GT teacher said, “I was amazed and awed to see the photographs my students took. They were so eager and pleased to capture their own perspective of their world.”

El Dorado GT Teacher Brooke Bagwell said about the project, “Everyone has the capacity to interpret and create images. Our fourth grade photography unit brings out the innate creativity of the students, builds their interpretative and technical skills, and enhances their understanding of the power of photography to communicate their perspectives to the world. The students took a field trip to the Arboretum and used a digital pad to photograph things they thought were beautiful, mysterious, interesting. Some edited colors or made images black and white and cropped them. They also matted their own 8×10 print for the exhibit.”

An artist’s reception to honor the student artists will be held on May 18, 2pm. Gallery viewing hours are Monday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm. SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.

Beth Jones El Dorado GT Coordinator, El Dorado GT Teacher Brooke Bagwell, AIE artist Lisa Tarver, and  Junction City Fourth-Sixth grade GT teacher Teresa Brady