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The Antelope

Imagination Day sparks creativity

UNK art professor showing students lighting techniques.

Art department gives high school students, teachers chance to explore art on campus


The UNK Art Department hosted its annual Imagination Day on Wednesday. It is a day for area high school students to visit the campus and get a taste of all that the UNK Art Department has to offer.

“Imagination Day provides an opportunity for art students at area high schools to take a peek into the programs offered in the Department of Art and Design,” Assistant Professor Samuel Rapien said. “It also allows them to meet and sample the personalities of the faculty, take a look at our facilities and the quality of work our students are producing, ask questions about college life and what they can do to prepare for it, and really have an enjoyable day of creating. For us, it’s about showing these students that our community of faculty and students at UNK Art and Design have a lot to offer those interested in exploring studio art, visual communication and design, and art education.”

The students were able to make several projects throughout the day ranging from paintings to ceramics and even experimenting with ‘Hollywood photography’.

 “(The students) got to start their day off at Museum of Nebraska Art this year with personalized tours and a scavenger hunt to really get to look through the art, so that was cool to be a part of,” said Hailey McBride, a senior Art Education major.

The event also gives current UNK students like McBride the chance to represent the department and get experience with high school students.

“It’s so special to us because it gives us the opportunity to teach students alongside our professors the same way we were taught when we first came to college,” McBride said. “My favorite part of the day was the students, it really helped me gain experience for someday working in my own classroom and shows some projects that I could do with the future high school students I will teach.”

The event is also a special day for the professors of the department, giving them the chance to help recruit high school students to UNK’s campus.

“For me, my favorite part of the day is seeing these students from different high schools—complete strangers—interacting with one another, problem solving together, laughing and enjoying this experience,” Rapien said.

The department hosts Imagination Day once each spring and fall semester. This event also allows area high school art teachers to connect with each other and exchange ideas amongst themselves and with professors from UNK.

 “Being a high school student is tough because you’re having to consider an eventually make some pretty important decisions regarding your education and your future career path,” Rapien said. “That’s a lot of pressure! I think coming to an event like Imagination Day, experiencing what our talented and exceptionally personable faculty have to offer, and experiencing just some of the possibilities within our programs helps to make that decision a little easier. Plus, it’s a break from the normal school day in a creative and fun environment. What young artist wouldn’t love that?”

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