Student art collection on display

Rick Gunn/Nevada Appeal A drawing by former Carson High School student James Nagel will be on display all month as part of the Caffeine Gallery exhibit at Comma Coffee.

Rick Gunn/Nevada Appeal A drawing by former Carson High School student James Nagel will be on display all month as part of the Caffeine Gallery exhibit at Comma Coffee.

by Maggie O'Neill

Appeal Staff Writer

Art teacher Paul Ford's decision some 20 years ago to collect student art, a few pieces which he retrieved from the trash, has evolved into a collection on display at Comma Coffee's Caffeine Gallery.

"If you can show students what other students have done over the years, it's an enabling thing and encourages them to meet that tradition," Ford said. "It actually has been a vital part of the program."

On exhibit during the month of April are 25 drawing and print-making pieces from students attending Carson High School over the past 20 years.

"There are fabulous drawings in a variety of media from pastels to pencil to pen and ink," Ford said. "There're examples of silk screen and blockprint (in the collection)."

In May, the second installment of student work will be displayed, including 25 pieces of painting and mixed-media. An artist's reception is scheduled from 5-6 p.m. today at Comma Coffee, 312 S. Carson St.

"You never know who is going to show up," said Ford. "It's kind of exciting and the best part of it is, especially with the Legislature in, people have a chance to interact with it. It's a great venue and a great time to be able to show all the work."

Ford's idea to collect art came in the mid-'80s when he went to Scotland through the Fulbright Teacher Exchange program and met an associate developing a body of student artwork.

It came to be then that when former student, Cody Hong, tossed two pieces of artwork in the trash years ago, Ford took them out.

"I asked her if I could have them and she said yes," Ford said. "And they became part of the senior exhibit."

Because of Ford's art-scrounging efforts, former students like Hong will be permanently remembered.

Ford, who received the Governor's Art Award for Arts and Education on Tuesday, is retiring at the end of the year and will leave the art collection to his successors.

The art show is sponsored by Capital City Arts Initiative, a Carson City organization that works to promote arts within Carson City through art events and education programs and exhibits, like the one at Comma Coffee.

"I think the exhibit shows examples of the brilliant history of Carson High art students and it's a fabulous potpourri example of the talent that young people have."

- Contact reporter Maggie O'Neill at or 881-1219.

Artists' reception

What: Reception for artists in Carson High School's Permanent Collection

When: 5-6 p.m. today.

The first phase of the student exhibit will be up through April and features drawings and print-making. The second student exhibit, throughout May, is painting and mixed-media artwork.

Where: Comma Coffee, 312 S. Carson St.

Cost: Free

Call: Melanie Berner at 287-2252

Students' artwork displayed in April: Andrew Nixson, Joanna Morrison, Heidi Casper, Matt Fisk, Sam Hardt, Sara Fisk, Kari Norvell, James Nagel, Wayne Roberts, Theresa Bourcier, Nell Green, Lynzie Ruecher, Lindsey Swanson and Ron Phoenix.


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