Thursday, April 13, 2023

Family Art Night "Art on the Farm"

Feed the animal games, farm texture prints (using cut potatoes and tractor wheels), shade and texture your farm animal, and hay bale snacks were just part of the fun at Family Art Night at Exeter-Milligan on Tuesday, March 21.

The event is produced, directed and sponsored by the art department with preparation starting in January.  The department, under the tutelage of art teacher Lisa Kanode, throws out ideas for the annual event and then a theme is chosen by the high school art students vote.

Kanode introduced the event in 2015 and it has grown in attendance each year since.  Kanode explained, “Family art night is a special event that many can benefit from.  Starting with the volunteers and helpers as they get an opportunity to teach and interact with kids.  Families benefit as they have the opportunity to spend quality time with their kiddos in an unique way.”

The event not only introduces different art mediums to the younger students, but it also gives the 6th -12th graders enrolled in Kanode’s art classes the chance to interact and teach.  Since all of the family is encouraged to attend and this gives the students running each booth the opportunity to interact with all ages. The art students are vital in planning and designing each station for the event.

Kanode has seen an direct impact in the art department in the student body, “I definitely see a growing interest in art, even in just helping out with family art night. This year the sixth graders have really stepped up and embraced being a part of family art night.  They took on face painting which is one of the most difficult stations to run.”


“It’s very student driven.  It benefits those who might want to go into education.  The students are sometimes nervous but I think they do fine. They get to pick what station they are going to do and then figure out what they need for each station. I give them some direction and let them run with it,” Kanode added.


Last year there were 8 stations and this year they bumped it up to 11 including a farm version of the “plinko” game using a plastic egg to drop down to different prize buckets, a make your own hobby horse head and then a chance to race against a friend and their “horse” on a track.  The students could decorate a pot and then plant a seed in addition to using clay to make an animal picture. 


Kanode has gotten some great feedback from the event.  According to her,  “This year's most popular stations seemed to be planting the seed, building a playdough farm, and shading farm animals.  Along with the egg drop and tractor pull paintings!  Oh and of course, they always love the book fair and face painting.”


The art department had a little help from ag teacher Miranda Hornung as the theme was ag related.  Props were brought in by Spanish teacher Lisa Ricenbaw and the prizes for the egg drop plinko were donated by school counselor Denice Kovanda.


The shop department, assisted by art students, built the plinko egg drop and the frame for the barn along with the picket fence.  All of the supplies for Family Art Night were rec


Inside and outside of the gym was an art show of all of the students’ artwork.  From kindergarten to seniors the art was on display both inside the gym where farm animal sculptures were placed near the barn backdrop and art was hung on the walls.


Kanode sends home an art portfolio at the end of the school year with all of her students.  She encourages them to host a gallery showing at home with their parents and other family members.  The high school art students have already started working on a theme for next year.


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