TWIN FALLS — The artistic process takes more than just one mind.
It helps to bounce ideas off peers to achieve new heights for artistic creativity. No relationship is more emblematic of that than a student and an art teacher.
When Elley Folks was working on a massive project her senior year at Xavier Charter School, she took guidance from her art teacher, Jason Hicks. She looked to him for guidance on how to use the texture of reclaimed material to create a layered phoenix, Hicks said. She spent a year working on a 3D piece: a phoenix emerging from flames.
“She has this drive to combine media,” Hicks said. “It’s great to see a drive for higher standard art in a world where mediocrity is thriving.”
In response to his student’s piece, Hicks designed a two-dimensional oil pastel piece of a phoenix. The mediums may be different, but the recurring themes of layers and a phoenix rising from the ashes are prevalent.
The duos’ art will be showcased at a new “Art of Teaching” exhibit.
“It showcases a relationship with teacher and student,” Hicks said.
The “Art of Teaching” exhibit features the creative expression of local school art teachers and, this year, the work of their students.
The gallery is open through Nov. 2 at the Twin Falls Center for the Arts, 195 River Vista Place. The exhibit opens Thursday with a free reception from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. offering refreshments, a chance to admire the art and opportunities to talk with the artists.
The exhibit started in 2015 to coincide with National Arts in Education Week as a chance to show the passion that art teachers have for their craft. It’s rare for the Magic Valley Arts Council to repeat exhibits, but the creativity shown by the teachers has kept it going.
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The art teachers are able to use any materials of their choosing — ceramics, charcoal, paint, photography and more — encouraging them to express themselves however they can, said Melissa Crane, marketing director for the Magic Valley Arts Council.
“The underlying motive is to remind people art education is important and that art, in general, is important,” Crane said. “Of course, we value literature, mathematics and sciences, but we think art is just as important.”
Hicks wants to see the public engage with art in new ways after seeing the work that teachers and students have created. He hopes the “Art of Teaching” exhibit start giving scholarships to students — but their inclusion this year is a large step in the right direction, he said.
“The art in the classroom extends outside the classroom,” Hicks said. “The internal experience exists for out there.”
For Valley High School art teacher Victoria Lock, the “Art of Teaching” has always offered a chance for her to view the creations of her colleagues.
“I’m amazed by my teaching friends,” Lock said. “I’m grateful for this opportunity to share my art with others.”
When Lock started teaching art, she promised herself that she would never stop practicing art, which can be a challenge when someone hits a creative lull. She continues to find art shows to show off her creations, which helps remind her why teaching art is so important.
“Art is a way for these kids to explore the world and themselves,” she said.