SHS art students see works in gallery


Artists dream of having their work on display in a gallery. For Seward High students, that dream is a reality.
The portfolio class at SHS has work hanging at the Red Path Gallery and Tasting Room to be featured in an open house Sunday, April 21, from 2-4 p.m.
Alison Koch, owner of Red Path, said this is the third year the gallery has collaborated with the high school for a show.
“Every year looks totally different,” she said. “It’s so interesting and fun to see what the students come up with.”
Addison Opfer and Camden Baldassano are both students in the class, taught by Nate Knott. Both are excited to see their work hanging at Red Path.
“To be in an actual studio is a cool feeling,” Opfer said.
“To see it lit up at a gallery is a cool experience,” Baldassano said.
Opfer has several pieces on display including an old man and guitar done in pen, two people in marker and two monochromatic faces. She said the entries she has at the gallery were done specifically for the show.
Baldassano used a variety of media for his pieces. He likes doing collage and sculpture, as well as painting.
He said his favorite piece on display is the painted records. Knott had a couple vinyl albums, and Baldassano painted the artists on them.
Opfer often draws inspiration from things she sees on Pinterest. She works as a CNA at Ridgewood Rehab and Care Center in Seward and looks around her there for inspiration, as well.
She said art seems to be her place.
“Originally, I was not good in school,” she said. “I found my place in art. There’s no right or wrong.”
Opfer said she had a good relationship with the art teacher at St. John Lutheran School, and that propelled her to art at Seward High.
“I love Mr. Knott. He’s one of the biggest reasons I like art,” she said.
Baldassano’s elementary art teacher was Tyson Horne, who would come once a month from the middle school.
“I was always doodling or drawing,” he said.
Opfer likes using colored pencils and drawing faces, although she stays away from drawing people she knows.
For Baldassano, collage is his category of choice. He starts with a piece of cardboard for the back and then looks through magazines from the 1950s, searching for people who look interesting. Once those pieces are together, he adds a block of color.
He said he would like to try more pastel and watercolor, while Opfer said she’d like to do more wheel pottery.
Baldassano said he likes art because it’s relaxing and allows him to be creative. He also likes music and said what he’s listening to often comes through in his artwork.
The collaboration between the gallery and the school came about through the Seward Arts Council, Koch said. She and Jeanne Wiemer talked to Knott about doing a show and seeing would be a good time.
“Nate was really excited about it,” Koch said.
The students were able to learn the process to get ready for a gallery show and how to hang the pictures for the best display.
The open house allows the students to share their work with family and friends and other visitors to the gallery.
Koch said it’s been easy to work with the students. The challenge is getting them all together at the same time to hang the show, she said.
“They’ve always had really amazing pieces,” she said.