Hardy Gallery, FOG and Peninsula Art School Launch 2009/2010 Exposure to Creativity Program

The Hardy Gallery in Ephraim, in conjunction with Friends of Gibraltar (FOG) and the Peninsula School of Art (PSA), is pleased to announce preparations for its Exposure to Creativity (ETC) program. The program is an arts mentorship for Gibraltar High School students, and will launch for the 2009/2010 season on Tuesday, October 27 and will run for a period of six weeks.


The ETC program, established in 2007, pairs the high school students of Gibraltar with experienced local artists for specialized learning in a variety of creative fields. Half-day workshops offered in past years have included digital photography, graphic design, theater/play writing, creative writing, poetry, gourmet cooking and food presentation, architecture, pottery, clothing design, landscape design, and more.

In the 2008 – 2009 ETC program, over 200 GHS students participated in two different half-day workshops taught by 23 area arts professionals both at the school and off-campus at an artist’s workshop or studio. After the workshops, evaluations were given to each of the students to assess their interest in participating in a small group mentor experience later in the school year. 13 students were matched with five appropriate mentors.

For the 2009 – 2010 school year, the ETC programs will work a little differently. Surveys completed by workshop instructors revealed a need to separate the freshman class due to the wide variance of skill levels among the students. All GHS freshmen will participate in a “sampler” of creative workshops this year (most of these taking place at the Peninsula School of Art) with the sophomore through senior students making selections for two half-day workshops similar to last year.

“We are excited to partner with the PSA in order to bring the students a better experience,” says Elizabeth Meissner-Gigstead, the Hardy Gallery’s Executive Director.

Peninsula School of Art serves adults and youth with high-caliber visual arts education experiences throughout the year. The year-round facility offers six to eight gallery exhibitions per year, seven working studios with equipment for ceramics, metal arts, photography, painting and drawing, print- and paper-making, as well as a comprehensive art resource library for education and inspiration. By partnering with the Peninsula School of Art, GHS students will become familiar with the equipment and resources that Peninsula School of Art has to offer. Students who choose to enroll in the mentoring program will have ongoing access to the professional caliber studios and equipment.

The last half-day workshop on November 17 will conclude with an all-school assembly program presented by ComedySportz, a motivational comedy group. After these workshops have been completed, the small group/mentor workshops will be formed at the beginning of 2010.

The collaboration between the Hardy Gallery, FOG, and PSA has been a vital one through the inception of the ETC program, and this year, the three organizations will expand to work with the Door County chapter of Habitat for Humanity. The FOG always centers its programming on a theme, and the theme for the 2009/2010 year is Service Learning, a term that combines community service with regular classroom activity. Through the ETC program, the participants will create artwork (in collaboration with the homeowners) that will hang in the homes built by Habitat for Humanity this year.

“The county’s extensive and vibrant arts community provides the necessary support for the ETC program,” says Meissner-Gigstead. “Not only do the students benefit, but it also provides an opportunity for local artists to do educational work over the off-season. It’s a great way to align the needs of the students with the immense resources offered by our peninsula’s artists.”

The Hardy’s Exposure to Creativity program was supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Hardy Gallery is a non-profit organization enriching the vibrancy of the Door County community by promoting and fostering local art. For more information on the Hardy or the Exposure to Creativity (ETC) program, visit www.thehardy.org or call 920.854.2210.

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