High School artists descend on the Flathead for a 24-hour workshop blitz

Apr 30, 2014

Florence High senior Callie Hunt works on her piece in the wheel throwing workshop during the recent Montana Art Interscholastic event in Kalispell.
Credit Katrin Frye

High School art students from around the state converge on one town each year for a 24-hour workshop-blitz. This year Kalispell’s Glacier High and Flathead Valley Community College housed more than 200-students learning jewelry making, painting, printmaking and numerous other techniques. The students from 18 different Montana schools came to the Flathead Friday through Saturday as part of the 2014 Montana Art Interscholastic event.

Workshops range from familiar sounding art classes like oil painting and watercolor workshop, to edible art, and urban art.

Florence High School’s Art Teacher Amy York said coming to this weekend offers the students the opportunity to see new techniques, new equipment, and often get a glimpse of the collegiate and career paths in art.

“Not only are they exposed to probably facilities and types of art making that their hometown schools may or may not be able to provide for them, but they’re also working with a local artist, so they get to see the artists’ work, and get instruction from a different art teacher. Lots of little schools like mine, I’m the only person that they get instruction from, for four years,” York said.

York said for herself, it’s also a good chance to catch up with other art teachers, hear what they’re doing, and share what’s happening in her classroom.

“I know my students look forward to it, they start talking about it the first week of school in art club every year. We fundraise all year to come, and a lot of kids say it’s the best weekend of their whole high school art career, you know I brought 17 kids from Florence, and only two of them haven’t been before. So, it’s a tradition that all the schools keep going.”

Students came from as close as Columbia Falls and Flathead High, and from as far as Great Falls and Shelby. The event changes location each year, and has been an ongoing tradition for more than 20-years.