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Friday, Mar. 27, 2015

Children speaking visually

Sunday, April 18, 2004

An unusual sculpture sat atop a table in Jackson High School's multipurpose room Saturday.

It was a sculpture of a face, a white face with typed words and phrases written in horizontal lines across its forehead, over its nose and chin. Thin metal wires, a little thicker than a paper clip, were bent in horizontal semicircles around the face like a cage. And spewing out and down from the mouth of this face were black rubbery strands that looked something like artificial fishing worms.

All of the elements had meaning, according to the creator, high school junior Bojan Radojcic, who moved to Jackson from Serbia in Eastern Europe.

"It shows that you can tell more through visual images than through words," he said.

And that, in a few words, is what Jackson's student art show was all about Saturday. Radojcic's pieces, some of which expressed agony, were a contrast to the thousands of colorful and happy images painted and drawn by students.

The mediums ranged from weavings to clay sculptures to glass sculptures to pencil and crayon. The images ranged from kindergarten stick puppets to a complicated drawing by Elysia Rouggly of the crucifixion with Jesus' body on the cross forming the right profile of a large face, presumably of God. There was even a nice "behind the scene" drawing of a horse. The rear was the focus, with the horses head turned to the left.

More than 300 families strolled into and around the gym by early afternoon, children pointing out their creations to parents. Musicians with guitars sang soft music in the background while various tables were set up for demonstrations.

"I thought all of it was just really great," said Charlynda Palmer, who came to see her daughter Amelia's work of the horse. "I'm really impressed."

Freshman Nicholle Hinkle spent much of her time Saturday afternoon at a table demonstrating how to weave. She said clay has been her favorite medium.

"The art show is pretty cool, except that I had to tape a lot of pictures to the wall," she said.

Carol Horst, an art teacher at South Elementary, organized the event, now in its eighth year. She said it took eight hours on Friday to set up the displays.

"We try to represent every elementary child," Horst said. "We're going to need more boards next year. We're running out of space."

Radojcic, who made the sculpture of the caged face, said he has advanced his skills under his teacher, Wanda Young.

"She's a really great teacher," Radojcic said. "She gives me the opportunity to do what I want to do, allows me to do what I like."

And that's what art is all about.

"One of the most important things for people to do is communicate what they think and see and feel," Horst said. "The visual medium is so powerful."

bmiller@semissourian.com

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