Battle Ground High School ceramics students impress at art show

posted Mar 15, 2017, 4:26 PM by Joe Vajgrt

Battle Ground High School ceramics students impress at art show 

March 15, 2017

Ceramics teacher Tamra Galles will readily admit that she can’t teach students how to be creative. She can, however, teach her students good craftsmanship, which she says is key to producing quality work. That idea is certainly paying off, as evidenced by her students’ impressive results in the 2017 Southwest Washington Regional High School Art Show. The annual event, sponsored by the Educational Service District (ESD) 112 in Vancouver, is on now through April 7.

This year’s art show received 278 student submissions from high schools throughout the six-county region of southwest Washington. Of these, 20 pieces received Regional Awards and will advance to compete against entries from around Washington in the Annual State Superintendent of Public Instruction Art Show in Olympia in April.

Remarkably, six of the eight student pieces submitted by Galles were selected by ESD 112 to receive awards. Students in her ceramics classes claimed four of the 20 Regional Awards, and two students also won ESD 112 Awards. The six total awards granted to BGHS students were the most given to a single school in the entire regional competition.

“I’m very proud of my students,” Galles said . “Their success in receiving these awards is a reflection of their skills and hard work, and I’m thrilled that they’re being recognized beyond our classroom.”

Regional Winners were selected by participating judges and were scored based on four 
criteria: originality, composition, emotion and technique. The BGHS students who won Regional Awards are Gillian Kandoll for her piece "Red Oni," Isaac Davisson’s "Into the Void," Kylie Smithline’s "Untitled 1," and Dixie Anderson’s "Weaved Pot.” The submissions that received ESD 112 Awards were Matthew Harmon’s “Face Mug” and Kylie Smithline’s "Untitled 2." 

After teaching at Amboy Middle School for five years, Galles is now in her second year of teaching ceramics at Battle Ground High School. Galles says that when she was in college studying art, she didn’t enjoy ceramics as much as painting and drawing, but that she’s since found a passion for teaching it.
“I’m still learning methods and techniques to improve my own abilities, and I think this makes me a more effective instructor for my students,” Galles said. “I can pass on the new things I learn directly to them while they’re still fresh in my mind. It’s been very rewarding seeing my students absorb knowledge and then immediately apply it to their projects.”

Later this spring, Galles is taking eight students to the National Conference for the Education of Ceramic Arts. The two-day event is being held in Portland this year and will provide a unique learning opportunity for Galles and her ceramics students.

Now in its 44th year, the Southwest Washington Regional High School Art Show is one of the few opportunities for area art students to receive wider recognition and exposure for their work. You can see the students’ artwork on display through April 7 at ESD 112’s office, located at 2500 NE 65th Ave. in Vancouver.