Practicing what they preach

Art teachers from across the Kenai Peninsula Borough School district are “practicing what they preach” at the Kenai Fine Arts Center with the January exhibit.


The exhibit, which debuted at the Fine Arts Center’s First Thursday on Jan. 4, brings together a collection of eclectic art created by art teachers from across the school district.

“I was just thrilled that we could get our art teacher’s together to put this on,” said Chris Jenness, an art teacher at Soldotna High School. Jenness explained that when he was studying art at college, he found it difficult to see his professors and teachers as artists.

“They were just people who worked at the college,” Jenness said. “And one year, there was a faculty show and… it really opened my eyes. I thought ‘Oh, these people are real artists’ and I saw how talented they were and that they were creating incredible work. I wanted to have the opportunity to do that for my kids.”

The Kenai Fine Arts Center gave Jenness and other district art teachers that opportunity. Teachers from Kenai Central High School, Nikiski, Skyview and K-Beach Elemtary also all have work on display throughout the exhibit.

An art teacher created everything on display, but beyond that the pieces don’t have much in common. There are paintings, sculptures, photography and more, showing the range and depth of the artists.

“I’m a graphic designer in training,” Jenness said. “…But I love being an art teacher because it gives me an opportunity to help kids discover new types of art while giving me an opportunity to explore those along with them. This year I’ve been been working on oil paining, which I’ve never really done before but I had several students want to try it. I’m teaching a little and learning a little — that’s the best part about being an art teacher, you’re a teacher and a student.”

Two of Jenness’s pieces in the exhibit are oil paintings.

“That was a fun challenge, but I like it and I’m going to stick with it,” Jenness said.

The exhibit will be on display through the end of January.

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