For Amanda Erickson Feterl ’01, art is elementary. Literally. And with a little help from Professor of Art Lois Peterson, the Department of Art/Art History and a grant from the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council, Feterl has taken an idea to fruition as “Art is Elementary: A South Central Regional Elementary Art Show” opens on Sunday, May 11, in the Schaefer Art Gallery on the Gustavus campus. The exhibition will open on Sunday with a reception for the artists and the public at 4:00 p.m. The exhibition will be open daily and on display through May 30. Admission to Schaefer Gallery is free and open to the public. The Gallery is located in the Department of Art/Art History at Gustavus and housed in the Schaefer Fine Arts, Art Center.
Amanda Feterl, a studio art and art education double major from Gustavus who teaches art K-6 in the Sibley East School District, was the 2012 Sibley East Teacher of the Year and a 2013 finalist for the Minnesota Teacher of the Year. Following a meeting of Minnesota Art Education Board, she asked herself a question, “Why are there no opportunities for very young artists to publicly exhibit their work?” There are many such opportunities for emerging and established artists, but none for young artists. With that question on her mind and moral support from Lois Peterson at Gustavus, Amanda applied for an Arts and Cultural Heritage Grant from the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council to create “Art is Elementary.” The Arts Council funded the proposal and Feterl began requesting submissions for the show from elementary schools throughout the region.
On Sunday, Amanda Feterl’s vision of an exhibition for young artists, “Art is Elementary,” will open in the 3-level Schaefer Gallery with more than 80 works on display. The artists in the show range in age from kindergarten through 6th grade and represent 8 schools in the region. Their works are a mixture of media from watercolor, crayon, acrylic, pastel and tempera paint, to pencil, ceramic and paper. One piece in the exhibition was created on a computer and produced by a 3-D printer.
With a simple question posed by art teacher Amanda Erickson Feterl and the support of the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council, “Art is Elementary: A South Central Regional Elementary Art Show,” is a reality and supports Feterl’s contention that art is, indeed, elementary. The exhibition will be open for viewing daily from 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p .m., May 11-30 in the Schaefer Gallery on the Gustavus Adolphus College campus. Admission is free.