LAHAINA - Lahainaluna High School students Kylie Keale-Smith and Mark Jugal took major steps on the pathway to their future last weekend under the Banyan Tree.
Both are enrolled in the Art Department and Art and Communication Pathway program at Lahainaluna and working on their Senior Project.
Hosted by Lahaina Arts Society, the two fledgling artists displayed and sold their art, as well as the work of their peers, as a fundraiser for the school's Art Department in downtown Lahaina on Thanksgiving Day; and, at the same time, fulfilled most of the requirements of their Senior Project.
Students Kylie Keale-Smith and Mark Jugal ran an art show and sale under the Banyan Tree on Thanksgiving.
Keale-Smith explained, "They just recently made Senior Projects required for students. We have to find a mentor, and we have to do approximately 20 hours with them. Like doing something we're interested in, and they're supposed to teach us what they know, and what they've experienced, and how it can help us in the future."
Their mentor is Nancy Young, the art and communications teacher and graphic design and general media guru on campus.
Their choice of mentor could not have been better. Young was a successful commercial and fine artist.
"I designed and manufactured my own clothing line and sold it across the state from 1982 to 2003," she said.
Young takes her mentorship seriously.
"Lots of students just shadow someone like a massage therapist or wedding planner and then do some part of the process, but a few do something more out there in the community, like organizing some community action or fundraising. Their projects have to be approved before they begin. The mentors have to sign up and commit to the project," she added.
"This was their idea," she stressed
Keale-Smith voiced her personal vision: "My paper is how art can help students, academically as well as creatively. It's more than showing people what you drew or what you painted, because art is a lot more than that.
"To me, art is, for one, a way to express yourself nonviolently. Another, it develops the skills in your brain," she reflected.
Jugal was direct in the mission of their dual endeavor: "We're here to sell art, and we're here to fundraise for our program."
According to Young, the money will help pay for printer ink ($2,000) and canvases. "Computers have to be maintained and upgraded. We need more cameras, and the Art Department needs more funds for supplies," she added.
The task to take this endeavor from the drawing board to the Banyan Tree was multi-pronged and stimulating.
"At first, we didn't have as much art, which was kind of challenging, because we needed more. So we had to ask around," Jugal commented.
"We had to learn to be critical about art - which ones should go in and which ones shouldn't - what would be bought, what would catch people's eyes.
"What was the most challenging about this project," Jugal continued, "was just putting it all together, getting all the artwork from the people. It took us a long time to make it sale-ready. Staying after school just to get it done. It was great to learn about these things, like the way we had to edit these pictures, make mats and stuff," Jugal said.
"You cannot just put this together in a flash," Young advised. "They have done more than their 20 hours."
The display under the tree was professional.
There were note cards, photographs, Christmas cards, jewelry, oil pastels and graphic arts - all originals. At the end of the day, they sold over 41 items and raised $300.
Their next hurdle is the interview with the panel of Senior Project judges.
Keale-Smith described what this entails: "For our presentation, we need to take pictures, so we can have a power point, and we can show them what happened - explain the experience we have had. I am very nervous about it."
The power point must be eight to ten minutes long.
"Then they ask you questions and judge you on the spot. It is very nerve-wracking," Jugal added.
Young is confident of her students' talents.
"Kylie and Mark's senior project is the beginning of something. It's showing that student art can sell. It's a relationship with the Lahaina Arts Society. It shows them that they can do something public and make it work. For them, it covered much Now they have to follow through, putting together a great presentation of what they have done," Young remarked.
All three consider the project a great learning experience.
"I am going to make it a regular project/event with other students. We'll have Christmas cards and Lunas Football 2014 calendars and posters on sale to benefit the Lahainaluna Foundation between now and Christmas. Individuals and stores who are interested can contact me. I'll have samples online next week," Young announced.
Contact Young at nncyoung@gmail .com or 205-1389.