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GHS art teacher encourages students through art show

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Gallup High senior art students had a chance to showcase their art to the community at the ART123 Gallery. This is Gallup High art teacher Kelly Stapp’s second year working with gallupARTS to promote her students’ work.

“A lot of my students are very shy about their artwork, but as their teacher I try to encourage them to push through that,” Stapp said. “With my constant saying ‘you know let’s try new things, it’s good to go outside of your comfort zone’ they were trusting enough in me and in themselves to really put themselves out there.”

Twenty-five students are featured in this year’s showcase. Matthew Shirley is one of them. He said the hardest part about creating art is trying to get what’s in his head out on paper.

“The hardest part is definitely not the imagination part, but the part in between imagination and reality,” Shirley said.

But once he’s finished with a piece, Shirley said he appreciates looking at what he’s accomplished.

“My favorite part [about art] is the creation part, when the process is all done and you can just look back at what you created,” Shirley said.

Stapp explained that she does the show to help her students get their art out in the community.

“When you put your art out for the community for anyone else to see, it’s very personal,” Stapp explained. “So them having the trust within me and themselves to show who they are as an artist is very humbling. They’re excited and encouraged to continue their art by seeing their work outside of the school.”

More students participated in the art show this year than last, and Stapp said she’s planning on continuing the show.

“I think this art show will continue for many years and I just really hope to continue to help push those students outside their comfort zones and improve in their lives,” Stapp said.

The GHS Senior Art Show will be on display at ART123 Gallery until April 1. Over 40 pieces of art are featured in the show.

By Molly Ann Howell
Sun Correspondent