Pictures At An Exhibition
Thematic Cycles Approach, With Art
Wayne Wildcat discusses his paintings with
a group of students and teachers form Central Junior High in Lawrence
Kansas who visited his one man show at the Lawrence Arts Center in
1994. Their school commissioned a Wildcat painting after visiting this
exhibit. The Kansas Arts Commission awarded a grant in 1995 for
students to raise funds, design, research, and paint the historical
mural with Wildcat in 1995-96.
To introduce Central Students to Wildcat's work, a bus tour brought
them from Lawrence to Wildcat's Retrospective Exhibit - Twenty Years
of Painting at the Gallery of Fine Arts at the Topeka Public Library.
At his exhibits, Wildcat discusses the ideas and characters in his
epic size historical paintings. Students get to know his style and
approach to art, and how and why he chooses the subjects he paints.
Students listened carefully and volunteered for this creative odyssey,
to create a painting with Wildcat for their school. (November 1995)
Brainstorming, research, and planning began in the school library. Student's
creative energy and ideas shaped the painting at each stage, with Wildcat's
listening and guidance.
The students chose unanimously the subject for their painting - to
capture the history and spirit of their school in this painting. It was easy
to see where their awareness of this history came from. Old photographs of
the Lawrence High School boys killed in World War I had just been found in
1994. Also during 1995 renovations of the old school building, the original
school's title, "Liberty Memorial," emerged on the front of the
building to remind all why their school and been built - as a memorial to
young men whose lives were taken in the war to end all wars. Ms. Loomis'
English class had stirred up interest in history with a project to research
people from the school's past.
Wildcat discusses student design for background of painting, Central's
arches. Students from English classes reported on their research, the time
line of characters and events from the school's history (on wall) which will
be a resource for the choice of which historical characters to include in