The 18th Annual Spring Southern Door Elementary and Middle School Fine Arts Festival is a celebration of the visual arts learning of students in grades kindergarten through 6th and 7th and 8th Elective Art students. The student art is displayed in exhibition style in the main hallways of the school and the open house night of Thursday, April 12 (from 5-8 pm) gives the students an opportunity to invite their family and friends to share their artistic visions.
This tradition was started by former Southern Door elementary art teachers Judy Jesse and Jim Zellmer in March of 2000. A school-based celebration of selected student work and music performances replaced a former exhibit of young student art at the Miller Art Museum in Sturgeon Bay. The month of March is designated as “Youth Art Month” and many special arts activities take place in schools and state capitals all around the county. When art teacher Barb Schriner-Schmitt came on board, she helped expand the festival to include work of all students and added hands-on art-making activities, invited artists to demonstrate their work or techniques, and some years invited cultural dance and music groups to perform.
One special tradition of the Southern Door Fine Arts Festival is the “Art Viewer Review.” Small writing sheets are available for all festival visitors to write a comment to any young artist about how their artwork “spoke” to and/or moved the viewer. These comments are shared with the students and help them understand the power art has to connect with and show our appreciation for others.
Activities on the night of the Fine Arts Festival include a hands-on art creation experience. Visitors and families will make personal artwork from recycled materials in a designated area of the cafeteria. The Fine Arts Festival has also enjoyed the close connection to the music arts every year. The elementary and middle school music programs will be present to perform as soloists and small group ensembles. A Scholastic Book Fair will be open during the festival as well, and “Decorate Your Own Ice Cream” sundaes will be available for purchase in the school cafeteria.
The Fine Arts Festival is open to the school community and public.