Striving for art appreciation, outreach

Kile Brewer
Posted 4/5/17

OAKLEAF – The smell of freshly-cooked food blew through the air in front of the Oakleaf High School Saturday as guests approached the school’s cafeteria where the second annual Art Walk was being …

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Striving for art appreciation, outreach

Posted

OAKLEAF – The smell of freshly-cooked food blew through the air in front of the Oakleaf High School Saturday as guests approached the school’s cafeteria where the second annual Art Walk was being held.

Food trucks set up outside to provide lunch options, as well as snow cones, to guests during the event that ran through the lunch hour. In addition to the food trucks, there were several tables featuring a variety of kids’ crafts, although adults were also encouraged to participate, including face painting and a make-your-own pet rock table.

“We have a variety of people here,” said Oakleaf senior Angelena Santiago, president of the school’s National Art Honor Society, which hosted the event. “We wanted to get the community to look at and appreciate art more.”

Past the kid’s activities and food trucks, student artists and established local artists displayed an eclectic mix of products for sale along with displays of artwork from various classes at the school.

“The goal is to make sure we have the community involved in art,” said Oakleaf art teacher and event organizer Kezia Laberis. “We also want to show students what it is like to be a professional artist.”

Besides the visual art displays, there were also performers throughout the day, varying from ambient post-rock guitar symphonies to quiet, personal poetry readings.

“I don’t think any of these people have heard my music,” said guitarist and Oakleaf senior Jonathan Richardson. “I’ve played a lot in Daytona. This is my first time doing anything with the school.”

The event accepts applications from artists of all levels for participation.

Oakleaf sophomore Rachel Katrinic sold handmade dreamcatchers at the Art Walk after only learning how to make them a couple months ago. When she saw fliers for Art Walk she decided to try and sell some of her handiwork.

“I had a bunch [of dreamcatchers] in my room, it was an obsession,” she said. “Then I found out they’re pretty easy to make. Today I’m just hoping to make a good profit and get more exposure.”

On the opposite end of the spectrum is former art teacher, and painter of various automobiles, Michael Viafora. Viafora has been painting his “automotive fine art” for years, participating in shows as often as five times a month. He was contacted by the Art Honor Society and asked to participate in the Art Walk.

“I’m here to support the Art Honor Society and showcase my automotive art,” Viafora said. “I would like to participate again next year. They are very organized in their planning for the art walk and gave me a lot of space to display my art.”

Viafora paints cars using either acrylic or watercolor, but goes beyond the traditional realistic car paintings you might see on sale at a shopping mall or flea market. Viafora uses the paint and the brush strokes to evoke motion from the vehicles, attempting to breathe some life into the two-dimensional flat canvases. His works ranged in price from small $10 original watercolors to large acrylic paintings that sold for hundreds of dollars.

As the event’s organizer, Laberis was pleased with the day’s turnout and will probably start planning next year’s event soon. After the success of the inaugural event last year and with the participation at this year’s event it will continue on into the future.

“We have a few more food trucks this year, and a higher population of student artists,” Laberis said. “Our main goal is community outreach focused on art.”

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