Far East Creative Expressions Celebrates Student Creativity
TOKYO — Over 100 DoDEA Pacific student artists attended the 2012 Far East Creative Expressions visual arts festival to find inspiration and make works of their own. These students came from all over the Pacific to showcase their talents as the future artists of their generation.
The four day event began Dec. 10 with students from all 12 DoDEA Pacific high schools. The students and teachers had to apply and be selected by the event organizers to take part in the festival.
The theme “Envision, Explore, and Express” inspired creativity throughout the week and offered the participating students a meaningful framework to conceptualize and create art within the medium of their choice.
The students were divided up into major and minor classes based on their interests and skills. Drawing, photography, printmaking, sculpting, 3D-design, oil pastels, watercolor, acrylic, ceramics, and jewelry fabrication were among the courses offered and led during the event by 18 DoDEA Pacific teachers and four Temple University professors.
Throughout the festival, students worked quickly to learn and apply new skills and craft a finished art piece derived from a concept for the student art show. The students drew upon the atmosphere and landscape of Tokyo to inspire their works and all participants had to manage their projects carefully to finish in time.
Previously, Far East Creative Expressions was held in Onna Village, Okinawa. The change in location this year marks a new partnership with Temple University and provided a different experience for all those involved.
According to DoDEA Pacific Activities Coordinator Todd Kirby, this year’s festival was co-developed with Temple University located in downtown Tokyo, “The art program at Temple University is under the auspices of the renowned Tyler School of Art on the main campus of Temple in Philadelphia, Pa.” Kirby explained that the genesis of the partnership was to foster greater capacity for students and teachers to go beyond the classroom and apply their talents in real world situations.
Student Jairun Armendariz from Edgren HS in Misawa, Japan attended last year and welcomed the change, “I thought Tokyo helped give different inspiration for my artwork compared to Okinawa.”
According to Shane Hernandez, an art teacher at Kinnick HS in Yokosuka, Japan and co-director for the Far East Creative Expressions festival, “Tokyo allows for a lot more opportunities so that students can create a strong concept to drive their artwork. Moreover, it’s important for students to be exposed to a world-class city that embraces the visual arts.”
Compared to years past, participants described a noticeable improvement in the event including more student involvement. Student Alysha Sellers from MC Perry HS in Iwakuni, Japan said, “Every Far East has gotten more serious each year. Students are now coming to do work rather than slack off.”
To students, the experience was a rare opportunity to take their learning to another level. “This event has been a stupendous experience,” said Yokota HS student Hunter Collins, “I was able to learn about things that wouldn’t be taught in school.”
Other students said the challenging schedule and high level of art was more physically and mentally demanding than an athletic Far East event.
Awards were presented for exemplary works and selected pieces were put on display during a public art exhibition Dec. 13 at Takanawa Community Plaza Gallery in downtown Tokyo.
2012 Far East Creative Expressions Visual Arts Festival Award Winners:
CC Gold: Kiana Ramos, Yokota HS
CC Silver: Alexander George, Daegu HS
CC Bronze: Amber Hawkins, Kadena HS
SC: Amber Hawkins, Kadena HS
CC Gold: Silvia Dykstra, Zama American HS
CC Silver: Daniel Reed, Osan American HS
CC Bronze: Kyla Troxel, Zama American HS
SC: Silvia Dykstra, Zama American HS
CC Gold: Kai Lee Hague, Yokota HS
CC Silver:Angel Fong, Zama American HS
CC Bronze: Sabrina Orozco, Kinnick HS
SC: Kai Lee Hague, Yokota HS
CC Gold: Ashley Cole, Kubasaki HS
CC Silver: Nichelle Lankes, Kadena HS
CC Bronze: Marissa Romero, Kubasaki HS
SC: none, combined with Illustration
Figure Drawing for Illustration
CC Gold: Amanda Anderson, Kadena HS
CC Silver: Paige Bossart, Guam HS
CC Bronze: Emily Piliz, MC Perry HS
SC: Amanda Anderson, Kadena HS
CC Gold: Kathryn Dawson, EJ King HS
CC Silver: Jeremy Arrington, Guam HS
CC Bronze: Alexandria Varden, Guam HS
SC: Alexandria Varden, Guam HS
CC Gold: Stephanie Roldan, Kadena HS
CC Silver: Adrian Gaudia, Kubasaki HS
CC Bronze: Courtney Sax, Yokota HS
SC: Adrian Gaudia, Kubasaki HS
CC Gold: Preston Blakley, Osan American HS
CC Silver: Mindy Adams, Yokota HS
CC Bronze: Hunter Waters, Kinnick HS
SC: Preston Blakley, Osan American HS
CC Gold: Abigail Bissell, Kinnick HS
CC Silver: Takami Yasuhara, Seoul American HS
CC Bronze: Erin Gavl, Daegu HS
SC: Erin Gavl, Daegu HS
CC Gold: Alysha Sellers, MC Perry HS
CC Silver: Sandra Granados, MC Perry HS
CC Bronze: Katherine Truluck, EJ King HS
SC: Sandra Granados, MC Perry HS
CC Gold: Gabrielle San Pedro, Kinnick HS
CC Silver: Jennifer Rauch, Osan American HS
CC Bronze: Ashley Clement, Seoul American HS
SC: Gabrielle San Pedro, Kinnick HS
CC Gold: Jeanie Choi, Seoul American HS
CC Silver: Jenny Han, Seoul American HS
CC Bronze: Laura Weimer, Edgren HS
SC: Laura Weimer, Edgren HS