Art Matters: Killdeer School hosts Springtime Arts Extravaganza

Killdeer Public School’s new gym was transformed into a performing and visual arts venue May 16-18.

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By Jennifer Strange

For the DC Herald

The KPS Springtime Arts Extravaganza featured an Art Show and Contest, a public viewing and an evening pops concert by the KPS Band.

Drawings, paintings, photography, pottery, collage and multi-media art hung from several movable, wooden room dividers that stretched along the gym’s far wall. The art was labeled by color-coded name tags showing each contestant’s name, grade, artistic medium and the title of their piece.

“Wow, this is not easy at all,” said judge and KHS graduate Karly Houghton. Houghton is an arts education major at Black Hills State University. “There’s some really good stuff here. Look at the detail on these drawings.”

Houghton examined the pencil-drawn fur of a wolf’s coat as fellow judge, Killdeer woodworker Joe Reems, compared the drawing’s composition and contrast to its nearest competitor.

Jennifer Strange, director of Dunn County Writers (full disclosure: also author of this article), was the third judge.

The panel of judges spent two hours studying and discussing the record-breaking 258 entries.

“The show is bigger than last year and all of this art was created by our K-12 students,” said coordinator and KPS art teacher Cherie Roshau. Roshau has been spearheading the annual contest for the past couple years, aided by KPS second-grade teacher Julee Gartner and KPS K-6 special education teacher, Angela Ott. “Most of the pieces were done in art classes but some of the students submitted art they’d done entirely on their own.”

Two former students–Caitlyn Benz who is an art education major at Minnesota State University Moorhead and NDSU music education major Hannah Smyth–returned to Killdeer to help organize the show, said Roshau.

As judges chose the top three contestants in each grade and/ or category, they were treated to sounds of the KPS Band rehearsing for the evening’s pops concert. Horns, strings, percussion and wind instruments found melody and harmony under the exacting director of band leader Abby Oase.

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