"I swear to God these kids are good," says Catherine Feer Basakinci, the twice-a-week volunteer art teacher at Pine-Strawberry Elementary School. "I really do have some budding Monets, Rockwells and Warhols."
Basakinci is so convinced of her students' talents, in fact, that she's putting her money where her mouth is. She's footing the bill to organize and promote Pine-Strawberry School's very first student art show from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the school's gymnasium at Highway 87 and Randall Drive.
All seventh- and eighth-graders who are taking elective art classes will have their work on display, and all students in first through fifth grades will have at least one piece of artwork framed and hanging.
The panel of judges will be three internationally-known artists, each of whom resides in Pine: iron sculptor Gary Price, who creates iron sculptures for several worldwide corporations; award-winning jeweler Mike Lane; and Rob Martinique, a renowned photographer and iron-and-steel sculptor. They will award first, second and third prizes for each grade, as well as three additional prizes for which all students will compete.
Basakinci's students are mostly creating their masterworks in pencil, she says, "because that's all we can afford. We're hoping to get some sponsors or donations to expand the program and to give the children more experience in a wider variety of mediums."