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IMPACT: Students celebrate Jane Wilson

Patrick Sweeney / The Arbiter

Jane Wilson retired after teaching art at Bishop Kelly High School for 33 years.  From the class of 1980 to 2012, she inspired her students and many of them went on to become working artists.  “IMPACT: the legacy of Jane Wilson” is an exhibit currently on display in the Student Union Gallery  which was put together to honor her.

“This was my idea,” said Tricia Stackle, exhibit creator.  “When my mom had first told me that she saw Jane had retired, I wanted to kind of give something back to her for all that she’s done for 33 years of teaching. She was my high school art teacher, so my very first art teacher in 1993, and I took my first pottery class from her. Now she’s one of my dearest friends.”

All of the art featured in the exhibit was done by students of Wilson’s or by Wilson.  The artworks range from paintings and sculptures to dresses made
of paper.

“There’s incredible work here,” Katie Kerby, former student of Wilson’s said. “There’s felt stuffed animals over there and jewelry and pottery and paintings.  This is amazing. This is a testament to a career that was just absolutely inspirational to a lot of people.”

Wilson contributed three paintings and a few sculptures to the mix of artwork and said she was very proud of the work her former students contributed to
the show.

“I think there’s a huge variety of work here and to me the interesting thing about the show is that with people we share a past we share a passion,” Wilson said. “Probably every student has a passion in some way, so come share ours. It’s almost surreal that something this wonderful would happen. It’s one of the best days of my life.”

Some of the featured paintings are reflective of memories the students had of Wilson.  Former student and featured artist Kate Masterson submitted a self-portrait because of an assignment Wilson had the class do that stuck in Masterson’s memory.

“I don’t think that you have to be an art major to look at art,” Adam Atkinson, senior art major said. “I think that there’s a lot of different interesting things going on, a lot of different uses of materials that you wouldn’t expect to see. It’s surprising and interesting to look at, so I think that everybody could learn something from being here.”

The opportunity to witness this exhibit, in honor of Wilson, will end on Oct. 7.