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November 23, 2004 > Teacher's Art Show Gala

Teacher's Art Show Gala

by Arathi Satish

An exhibition of artwork by Fremont Unified School District teachers is on display at the Education Center through December. Susan Manbeian, an art teacher at Hopkins Junior High School and co-chair of the Fremont Unified School District Arts Team, is the Model Arts Coordinator. This is the second year of art exhibits for the school district.

The goal of the Art Team is to promote the arts and its educational value within the school district and put art back into elementary schools and develop continuity among the art teachers in Fremont.

The display is remarkable, and talking to a few artists was an eye opener to the amazing work that is being done in the district. Manbeian stresses the importance of art, "All those who have studied art know that art teaches us to look deeply at the world. All other disciplines are reflected in art, and the study and practice of art puts form to our own thoughts, ideas and sense of exploration and creativity."

Manbeian feels that art is an essential part of education. "Every child at every age should have the opportunity to learn, explore, make connections and give voice to their world through art. It is up to each of us as art educators to inform people in our communities that there is much, much more to art than making pretty pictures!"

Edie Christensen, an art teacher at Mission San Jose High School, points out how art influences individuals, "I have always been inspired by nature, finding the intricate patterns, textures and rhythms of nature intriguing. In studying and painting the forms found in nature, I feel connected to the universe and the creator. There is endless variation to draw upon for color harmonies, design and mediation. I find that something small, such as a shell, is really its own little world; the discarded home that was made by some creature long ago. Visually the subtleties of color washes that I see in nature, in sunsets, shells, lichens and stones come to play in my paintings, sometimes in a collage of images."

The display highlights the work of various teachers in the Fremont Unified School District as well as Mission San Jose High School students in the fall show. New art by students will be displayed in January. Many of the pieces displayed are for sale.

Students will hold a show that will include music, dance, theatre and art exhibits. A reception will be held in the first week of March in the lobby of district office. January and February is dedicated to elementary school art.

The participating artists in the Teacher Art Show are: Thomas Bartholomew-Couts, Thom Cory and Megan Olson from American High, Edie Christensen and Maureen Langebach from Mission High, Sabrina Chiu and Edwin Duerr from Washington High, Janien Ferry from Horner Jr. High, Summer Halverson, Kim Parker and Susan Pate from Irvington High, Hajime Kanzaki from Kennedy High, Susan Manbeian from Hopkins Jr. High, Steven Olson from Centerville Jr. High, Jane Turner and Lorraine Wilson from Thornton Jr. High and Darlene Wilhelm from Walters Jr. High.

The Teacher Art Show will be on display through December and can be viewed at the Fremont School Unified School District Education Center at 4210 Technology Drive. For further information contact Susan Manbeian at 510-656-3500, extension 38003 or visit their new website at

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