Bulldog Bites

News and Views from the University of Redlands

Summer Arts Program helps high schoolers explore their dreams

High school students from across the Inland Empire attended the week-long University of Redlands Summer Arts Program. (Photo by Taylor Matousek '18)

Last week, 10 high school students from across the Inland Empire had the opportunity to experience a week’s worth of collegiate-level art and writing at the University of Redlands.

U of R Professors Pat Geary (creative writing) and Penny McElroy (studio art) instructed the students in poetry and collage, with the overarching theme of dreams. 

“I was very impressed by this group of artists,” said Geary. “They were able to move easily between their poetry and their visual work.”

Recommended to the Summer Arts Program by their art teachers, the students were able to participate free of charge, thanks to continued support from donors Linda J. Roesch ’62 and Rick Roesch, as well as the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office. This summer’s program was the sixth iteration.

After working and receiving feedback on their art and writing every day, at the end of the week the students displayed their pieces in the Strand Gallery in Ann Peppers Hall for their parents, along with faculty and friends of the University, to enjoy. A few brave souls even read their poetry at the reception. 

Creative Writing Professor Pat Geary (right) commends a few brave students for reading their poetry. (Photo by Taylor Matousek '18)

Kai, age 17, of the Grove School in Redlands, said of the program: “It gave me the opportunity to explore fields I never really thought I’d have any talent in, and it opened my eyes to all the different ways of exploring these art mediums.”

Alyssa, age 17, of Martin Luther King High School in Riverside, said the program provided her with new art styles and a different outlook on poetry. “I hadn’t really done abstract art or collages before participating in the program. As for the writing part, I’m not a big fan of poetry, but it was a good experience, and I’m definitely glad I tried it.”

The students’ pieces were compiled into a booklet titled Subconscious Minds, which students and parents proudly carried out as they left the show.

“The students were very willing, and they tried things that they had probably never done before,” said McElroy. “They learned a lot in a short period of time. I’m very proud of their work.”

For more information about the program, contact Janet Thorson, U of R Studio Art administrative assistant, at (909) 748-8360.

The students' artwork draws admiration in the Strand Gallery. (Photo by Taylor Matousek '18)