For Immediate Release — December 26, 2012 | Pacific
Charly Hoff: Public Affairs Officer | DSN: 644-5657 | Cell: +81-(0)80-2703-0632
Attribution: James Kemper: DoDEA Pacific Student Press Corps.
EDITORS/PRODUCERS PLEASE NOTE: The DoDEA Pacific Student Press Corps. is composed of student journalists working on special assignment for the DoDEA Pacific Public Affairs Office or in partnership with the Defense Media Activity. SPC members are currently enrolled DoDEA Pacific high school students skilled in journalism, photography, and video production. Please send media queries to the DoDEA Pacific Public Affairs Officer for coordination.
TOKYO — Over 100 DoDEA Pacific student artists attended the 2012 Far East Creative Expressions visual arts festival to find inspiration and make works of their own. These students came from all over the Pacific to showcase their talents as the future artists of their generation.
The four day event began Dec. 10 with students from all 12 DoDEA Pacific high schools. The students and teachers had to apply and be selected by the event organizers to take part in the festival.
The theme “Envision, Explore, and Express” inspired creativity throughout the week and offered the participating students a meaningful framework to conceptualize and create art within the medium of their choice.
The students were divided up into major and minor classes based on their interests and skills. Drawing, photography, printmaking, sculpting, 3D-design, oil pastels, watercolor, acrylic, ceramics, and jewelry fabrication were among the courses offered and led during the event by 18 DoDEA Pacific teachers and four Temple University professors.
Throughout the festival, students worked quickly to learn and apply new skills and craft a finished art piece derived from a concept for the student art show. The students drew upon the atmosphere and landscape of Tokyo to inspire their works and all participants had to manage their projects carefully to finish in time.
Previously, Far East Creative Expressions was held in Onna Village, Okinawa. The change in location this year marks a new partnership with Temple University and provided a different experience for all those involved.
According to DoDEA Pacific Activities Coordinator Todd Kirby, this year’s festival was co-developed with Temple University located in downtown Tokyo, “The art program at Temple University is under the auspices of the renowned Tyler School of Art on the main campus of Temple in Philadelphia, Pa.” Kirby explained that the genesis of the partnership was to foster greater capacity for students and teachers to go beyond the classroom and apply their talents in real world situations.
Student Jairun Armendariz from Edgren HS in Misawa, Japan attended last year and welcomed the change, “I thought Tokyo helped give different inspiration for my artwork compared to Okinawa.”
According to Shane Hernandez, an art teacher at Kinnick HS in Yokosuka, Japan and co-director for the Far East Creative Expressions festival, “Tokyo allows for a lot more opportunities so that students can create a strong concept to drive their artwork. Moreover, it’s important for students to be exposed to a world-class city that embraces the visual arts.”
Compared to years past, participants described a noticeable improvement in the event including more student involvement. Student Alysha Sellers from MC Perry HS in Iwakuni, Japan said, “Every Far East has gotten more serious each year. Students are now coming to do work rather than slack off.”
To students, the experience was a rare opportunity to take their learning to another level. “This event has been a stupendous experience,” said Yokota HS student Hunter Collins, “I was able to learn about things that wouldn’t be taught in school.”
Other students said the challenging schedule and high level of art was more physically and mentally demanding than an athletic Far East event.
Awards were presented for exemplary works and selected pieces were put on display during a public art exhibition Dec. 13 at Takanawa Community Plaza Gallery in downtown Tokyo.
2012 Far East Creative Expressions Visual Arts Festival Award Winners:
CC=curators’ choice | SC=students’ choice
CC Gold: Kiana Ramos, Yokota HS
CC Gold: Silvia Dykstra, Zama American HS
CC Gold: Kai Lee Hague, Yokota HS
CC Gold: Ashley Cole, Kubasaki HS
Figure Drawing for Illustration
CC Gold: Amanda Anderson, Kadena HS
CC Gold: Kathryn Dawson, EJ King HS
CC Gold: Stephanie Roldan, Kadena HS
CC Gold: Preston Blakley, Osan American HS
CC Gold: Abigail Bissell, Kinnick HS
CC Gold: Alysha Sellers, MC Perry HS
CC Gold: Gabrielle San Pedro, Kinnick HS
CC Gold: Jeanie Choi, Seoul American HS
About DoDEA Pacific Far East Activities and Athletics:
In addition to Creative Expressions, DoDEA Pacific sponsors 23 other unique Far East athletic and scholastic opportunities throughout the school year. Scholastic events include Far East Journalism, Yale Model United Nations, STEM and 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.
About DoDEA Pacific:
The first organized schools for the children of U.S. military personnel serving in the Pacific were established in 1946 during post-World War II reconstruction. Throughout the decades, DoD schools evolved to become a comprehensive and high-performing K-12 school system solely dedicated to educating the children of America’s heroes. Today, DoDEA Pacific’s 49 schools serve over 23,500 children of U.S. military and eligible DoD civilian personnel families stationed throughout the Pacific theater. The DoDEA Pacific teaching, administrative and school support team includes more than 3,300 full-time professionals. The schools are geographically organized into four districts: Guam, Japan, Okinawa and South Korea.