Return to Headlines

Virtual Art Show

Hillview Virtual Art Show

Creativity has been the key word in art class this year at Hillview Elementary School. Art teachers Lynn Hrusa and Kari Ratka and their students have adapted to the different learning models and found ways to learn and create in new ways.

A crowning achievement of the pair’s creativity is the amazing Virtual Art Show presentation shared with students and their families. The interactive slideshow includes artwork from September through the spring.

“I started taking pictures in September, not really knowing what I would use them for,” Mrs. Hrusa explained. “I spent a lot of my spare time working to develop the presentation and collaborating with my colleagues to make it just right.”

The show is designed so that you can click on a classroom teacher’s door and it will take you to their students’ gallery of work. Inside the ‘rooms,’ students showcase their art from Van Gogh-like flower vases to pumpkins in the polka dot style of Yayoi Kusama, Salvador Dali surrealism and self portraits inspired by Frida Kahlo.

“We always try to relate our lessons back to a famous artist or a book. A new lesson we did this year for the first time was on aerial artwork and we related it back to the Wright Brothers’ first flight,” Mrs. Hrusa added. 

The Virual Art Show was shared with families using a QR code for ease of access on mobile devices. The flyers that went home also included a craft for a paper watch, so that students would be reminded to ‘watch’ the presentation and scan the code right on their wrist.

A special thank you to teachers Samantha Poules and Deedee Stasiak for helping with the opening slides and QR code.

Creativity can usually be found in art class, but this year presented challenges and opportunities to think outside the box. Mrs. Hrusa and Mrs. Ratka adapted their lessons for the hybrid, remote and in-person learning models.

“We learned a lot. From collaborating on asynchronous lessons to making sure students had their own art bags of supplies. We found out you can’t assume kids have anything at home, but if we all work with what we have, we can come up with some really creative results. The ultimate lesson from this year though is that the students are resilient; they rose above any challenge, and they loved participating in art as a creative outlet,” Mrs. Ratka said.

Everyone is hoping for a normal school year in 2021-2022, but Mrs. Ratka and Mrs. Hrusa said they will be integrating some of what they learned from this year going forward; from newly discovered art supplies to adding a virtual presentation component to their annual in-person art show.