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ONNA VILLAGE, OKINAWA — January 13, 2012 — Over 100 aspiring student artists from all 12 DoDEA Pacific high schools gathered together at the Onna Art Center to create unique works of art designed to “Envision – Explore – Express.”

Students underwent an in-depth exploration of the visual arts through drawing, painting, ceramics sculpture, printmaking, digital art and photography. Drawing courses emphasized the human form and still-life subjects such as landscapes. Painters learned advanced techniques in watercolor and acrylics. Students studying pottery created 3D ceramic sculptures while traditional printmaking was offered to students seeking opportunities to carve, ink and print their own designs. Other courses included digital art and photography.

Joining the students were 16 DoDEA art teachers, a special guest curator from the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC, and a celebrated local Okinawan artist.

In addition to creating original artwork through the various offered courses, every student participated in a cultural experience by working with local artists to create shisa sculptures. The shisa, or lion dog, is an iconic adornment of rooftops and entryways across Okinawa. The legend of the shisa dates back to Ryukyu Kingdom. Often found in pairs—one with an open mouth to ward off bad spirits and the other with a closed mouth to retain good spirits—the shisa are a treasured icon of Okinawan culture.

A specialist from the Smithsonian American Art conducted activities to give students a better understanding of the role of a museum curator and how to properly arrange, label and display artwork in a gallery setting.

Awards were presented to exemplary works and selected pieces were put on display during a public art exhibition Thursday at the Kafuu Resort Hotel in Onna Village. The art gallery style atmosphere drew a sizable attendance.

For a list of Far East Creative Expressions Award Winners click here.

About DoDEA Pacific Far East Activities and Athletics:
In addition to Creative Expressions, DoDEA Pacific sponsors 24 other unique Far East athletic and scholastic opportunities throughout the school year. Scholastic events include Far East Journalism, Harvard Model Congress, Interdisciplinary Basic and Applied Research Academy, MathematicaFest, LinguaFest, and many more while athletic competition includes tennis, cheerleading, cross country, track and field, football, baseball, wrestling, among others. Far East events also include several art and music offerings such as the Film and Entertainment Arts Festival, Culinary Arts, Honor Music, Jazz Festival, etc.

Far East events reinforce DoDEA core curriculum by providing students area-wide festivals, symposiums and competitions to showcase their creative, academic and athletic talents. The events are coordinated and managed by the DoDEA Pacific area office with guidance provided by the Far East Activities and Athletic Councils.

About DoDEA Pacific:
DoDEA Pacific provides a comprehensive preK-12 education to the children of military and eligible civilian personnel families serving throughout Asia. The 49 schools in DoDEA Pacific are comprised of more than 24,000 students and 3,100 full-time professional educators and support staff. The schools are geographically organized into four districts: Guam, Japan, Okinawa and South Korea.

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DoDEA Pacific Public Affairs

Unit 35007
APO, AP 96376
DSN: 315-644-5657
From the States: 011-81-6117-44-5657

The initiates and manages DoDEA's communications and outreach efforts for the Pacific to include Guam, Japan, Okinawa, South Korea. The office is responsible for media relations, internal information programs and communication with students, parents, teachers, school administrators and the public.