Gibraltar High-Schoolers Get Creative

Local artists teach teens during Exposure to Creativity program 

Each year, Gibraltar High School students have a day to set aside their textbooks in exchange for brushes, cameras and tools. The Exposure to Creativity (ETC) initiative, started in 2007, encourages students to explore their artistic potential through workshops.

Led by the high school and Friends of Gibraltar (FOG), in collaboration with The Francis Hardy Center for the Arts (The Hardy Gallery), this year’s ETC was held on March 12. Local artists, including Kelly Bresnahan, Deanna Clayton, Ryan Dayton, Teresa Lind, Terry Murphy, Jeremy Popelka, Suzanne Rose, Stephanie Trenchard, Joslyn Villalpando and James Viste, shared their expertise with students throughout the day. Students participated in nine workshops that covered a wide array of artistic disciplines like photography, blacksmithing, glassblowing and woodturning. More than skill-building exercises, these workshops aim to cultivate a deeper appreciation for the arts and their role within the community.

The program is funded by the Wisconsin Arts Board, the National Endowment for the Arts and private donations. The Hardy Gallery also collaborates with other local non-profit arts organizations like The Clearing Folk School and Björklunden, which both held workshops.

This year’s program accommodated 100 students across various grade levels at Gibraltar High School. As the ETC program recovers from the pandemic, organizers hope to bring it and its subsequent mentorship  program back to full capacity.