Each year students have the opportunity to extend the learning environment through community resources. Champaign-Urbana has a vibrant art scene, the Univeristy of Illinois is a world-class institution and our proximity to Chicago, St. Louis and Indianapolis affords students many venues for experiences outside of the classroom.
My students have the opportunity to participate in an array of art contests and exhibitions as a way to push them creatively, to challenge them to be professional and to share their work with the public. Student work is displayed around Centennial and throughout the community.
Through grants and the generousity of local artists, Centennial students are fortunate to learn new techniques directly from experts. Working with visiting artists provides the students an opportunity to experience new media and apply it to curricular goals.
[Geido: The Way of Art]
My largest grant-funded collaboration was Geido: The Way of Art, written in collaboration with our librarian, Cynthia Helms, and funded by the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership. This multi-disciplinary project brought experts in traditional Japanese arts to work with student groups at Centennial. Students experienced first-hand the art of raku, shodo, haiku and haiga, koto, and origami. A culminating event at a downtown gallery showcased the student work and included readings, performances and workshops for the community.