November 19, 2013 4:00PM
“A fish out of water” is the theme for Pittsburg State University’s annual Art Day on Thursday, Nov. 21. More than 375 high school art students from Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma are expected to participate.
PSU Art Department Chair Rhona Shand said the event has become extremely popular with students and art teachers.
“It has grown rapidly over the past four years from 40 or 50 students to between 350 and 400 students,” she said. “Every available space is going to be packed with art and activity.”
For this year’s competition, students have been allowed to create their fish in advance at their home schools. At PSU, the student teams will design and build environments that illustrate the theme.
“Everyone uses the expression, ‘like a fish out of water,’” Shand said, “But we’re asking the students to imagine where the fish is, if it’s not in its normal environment, and how it got there. That could be on the streets of New York or on the moon or any number of places.”
The competition challenges the students to use their creativity as well as to work in teams, Shand said. It also requires them to work with limited resources. The main material for the fish, for example, must be paper plates. For the environment, students must use paper towel and toilet paper rolls and other similar cardboard and paper materials.
The teams will have about 90 minutes to complete their work. At 11 a.m., the judges will tour and judge the entries.
In addition to the team competition, students at Art Day may compete in one of two individual categories. Students who compete in the Self Portrait category will have 45 minutes to do a self-portrait. Students who compete in the three-dimensional competition will have the same amount of time to create a Fish Transportation Machine, using objects such as pencils, ping-pong balls, paper or Styrofoam cups, nails, pipe cleaners, etc.
In addition to the competitions staged that day, Art Day also includes student juried competitions and a talk by PSU alumnus and horror illustrator Karl Dahmer.