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Junior High Rams Channel Inner Artists
Shown are students in one of five Oakdale Junior High Art classes who will have their art on display for the inaugural OJHS Art Show on Thursday, March 19 at the OJHS Gym. Teresa Hammond/The Leader

Art is alive and well at Oakdale Junior High School and teacher Kim McCarthy is excited to share her students’ talents with the community.

McCarthy, along with her 150 students, will host the OJHS Inaugural Art Show on Thursday, March 19. The event will be staged in the OJHS gym between the hours of 4 p.m. to 6:30 pm., and the show is open to the community.

“This is the first year that Oakdale Junior High has had art in many years,” newly appointed Art Teacher McCarthy shared.

McCarthy herself is an artist and has a deep rooted passion for sharing her knowledge as well as skill with the eighth grade students of OJHS. She currently teaches five art classes at the campus and noted next year’s class load looks to be equally full.

“I feel like, if kids get an opportunity to showcase their work it really makes them want to take more pride in their work and work a little bit harder,” she said of the motivation behind the art show.

“It also gives them an opportunity, if they are planning to become artists to see what that really feels like to produce things and have people walk around and critique their work,” McCarthy added.

The buzz and excitement it has created within her classes is testament to her thoughts, as students review their current art portfolios and decide on the work they will submit. All 150 students will submit work for the show. In addition, the students have produced handmade postcards in packs of four which will be sold during the show. Proceeds from the sales will go directly back to the art program to help McCarthy purchase additional classroom items.

“I got more into it this year, than I have any other year,” student Karlie Spencer said, sharing that she enjoys painting nature.

Fellow classmate Abner Gonzalez shared he enjoys the freedom of painting from his imagination and the creativity he is able to express.

“I think it’s a really cool thing to do and to see what others can do and to help grow as an artist,” eighth grader Alexandriea Ridolfi said. “I’ve always really been into art.”

During the course of the school year the student artists have worked on varying projects including: a Shoe Project, creating art from a recycled shoe; Totem Poles and Pointillism (photos from dots).

“I think it’s a cool opportunity that we can show off what we’ve been doing all year and that our parents can come see,” Karlie said.

That’s a sentiment with which McCarthy could not agree more.

“I’m really excited for the kids to get to feel the amount of pride they may not get to feel in some of their other classes,” the teacher said. “To really be able to be recognized as artist and be able to see how that feels.”