Student-artists shine at 2024 Secondary District Art Show

Emeri is using her interest in nature to create scenes that show an earth-sized amount of imagination, ingenuity and intelligence.
Emeri, a senior at Northwest High School, joined hundreds of middle and high school students at the 2024 secondary district art show. Lincoln Public Schools students, parents and community members admired a wide range of drawings, paintings and prints this spring. The artwork filled every floor of the Steve Joel District Leadership Center.
Emeri gave a humble smile as she stood in front of a pencil drawing called “The Crows” at the show. Her artistic abilities helped her become one of the most decorated students in the building. Teachers selected five of her pieces for visitors to view on the walls.
“I was shocked,” Emeri said. “I was really expecting just one to be here, but to get five, that’s shocking.”
Emeri said Northwest teacher Megan Cherry has played a critical role in her art career. She took a Drawing II class with Cherry this year and learned about many illustration methods and mediums. She would like to major in wildlife biology in college, and those future plans are helping to inspire her current artistic ambitions.
“When I draw, I just typically focus on animals and plants,” Emeri said. “That’s what interests me.”
Standing Bear High School freshman Leah and Schoo Middle School eighth grader Keaton also said they like to focus on subjects that are appealing to them. Leah produced a prize-winning photo called "The Wonderous World of Shadows” for the art show. She took a selfie of her own shadow that was silhouetted by a light pole outside Standing Bear’s building.
“In photography, I enjoy working with art – shadows and light for the most part,” Leah said. “I guess the light pole gave me a cool opportunity to maybe use the jacket I was wearing for a cool photo.”
Keaton showcased a piece called “Dinosaur” for art show visitors. His digital media collection featured six different dinosaur species in a variety of colors. The sketches included a tyrannosaurus walking by trees, a brachiosaurus extending its head and a pteranodon flying through the sky.
“I came up with it just from simply drawing little doodles on the iPad,” Keaton said. “I eventually started gradually adding on to the doodles more and more. They ended up making up the pieces to the artworks that I eventually made.”
Keaton’s mom Tara said her son has enjoyed being an artist for many years. She has saved boxes of his art projects and posts social media updates about his latest creations to her friends. He began making t-shirt designs this year and has added digital pieces to his skillset.
“It’s amazing,” Tara said. “I’m super proud of him. He’s been drawing since he could write.”
Keaton spent a large amount of time on the project during his digital art class at Schoo. He said teacher Evan Asche encouraged him to explore a whole series of ways to use his talents.
“I think art class helps with that because it allows me to be a lot more creative,” Keaton said. “Because originally I started with pencil drawings, and the pencil drawings were really good, but when I found out that we were using digital art, I wanted to try and see if I could color them in, because I thought that would be easier.”
Irving Middle School eighth grader Neva said she has also enjoyed her digital media class. She beamed as she talked about her project called “Molly Tuttle.” She created a color block portrait of a faceless woman holding a guitar and wearing a necklace with a gold coin.
Neva said her favorite guitar player came to mind when she first learned about the assignment. She felt drawing Molly Tuttle would stretch her artistic skills in a good way.
“First you find a picture of the person, and then you trace the area around them,” Neva said. “Then fill it in with colors that work together.”
Neva said it was important to have art classes in school because they provide a creative outlet for everyone. She said they also teach students many important lessons that apply to other parts of life.
What was one of those lessons she learned from this project?
“That art isn’t always as easy as you think it is,” Neva said with a friendly laugh. “Her hair was so hard to make.”
Leah said being included in the district art show has led to a dictionary-sized amount of good outcomes. She has received encouraging words from many classmates and friends, and she has gained confidence from knowing other people have enjoyed her artwork. She said it has also been nice to know her family supports her in all of her photography pursuits.
“I think they’re proud,” Leah said with a smile.
Click here to learn more about the wide array of art classes available at LPS. The site includes a list of school and district art teachers, programs of study and links to area museums and galleries.
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Published: May 28, 2024, Updated: May 28, 2024

Northwest High School senior Emeri smiles next to one of her pencil drawings at the 2024 secondary district art show. Teachers selected five of Emeri's artworks to be included in the show. Lincoln Public Schools students, parents and community members admired a wide range of drawings, paintings and prints this spring.