Southwest Education Academy students display art in Cedar City – St George News

CEDAR TOWN — Art lovers interested in supporting young artists can do so by visiting the Cedar City offices where artwork created by local students adorns the brick walls.

Artwork by students from the Iron County School District’s Southwest Education Academy hangs in the Cedar City offices, Cedar City, Utah, April 18, 2022 | Photo by Alysha Lundgren, Cedar City News

Pieces include a watercolor cactus, a pen-drawn bristlecone pine, and an alpine lake oil painting, among others. Every piece is for sale, and 100% of the proceeds go to a junior or senior at Southwest Education Academy, the Iron County School District’s alternative high school, art teacher Tiffany Marchant said.

Additionally, Marchant said she has some exciting news to share with one of the students.

“We got our first sale,” she said. “A complete stranger left some money in an envelope at reception. So I’m going to give the money to the boy. I’m really excited to see his face.

Marchant said the school doesn’t have the space or funds to hold an art exhibit, but wants it to happen for its students. She applied for a grant from the Cedar City Arts Council and received $500. Additionally, Bruce Miner donated an additional $500 to the project, enabling Marchant to purchase oil painting supplies and frames for student art.

“Once they got the real oil paint brushes, they couldn’t believe the difference in what they could do, and they were so grateful,” Marchant said.

Tiffany Marchant, art teacher at Southwest Education Academy, standing in front of a work example in her classroom, Cedar City, Utah, April 18, 2022 | Photo by Alysha Lundgren, Cedar City News

Students will continue to add to the exhibit and she expects more watercolors to be hung, Marchant added.

While most of her students won’t become artists, Marchant said she wanted them to be able to do something they didn’t think they could.

“I feel like it can give them confidence,” she said. “I feel like the arts create beauty in people’s lives, and I just want them to have some art in their lives.”

One student said the art exhibit was a nice change and she liked having her school involved.

Marchant said she plans to hold art shows every year, adding that she plans to apply for a $1,000 grant from the Iron County School District to fund next year’s project.

Southwestern Academy of Education

Marchant said the academy is “nothing short of a miracle” and the school is designed for students facing challenges, including those who are struggling to attend, who have fallen behind during COVID-19 closures and benefiting from smaller classrooms and more one-to-one support. Students must earn 24 credits to graduate, which is less than other high schools in the county, she said.

Southwest Education Academy student Jesus Rodriquez holds his artwork, Cedar City, Utah, April 18, 2022 | Photo by Alysha Lundgren, Cedar City News

One student said he didn’t know much about the school before enrolling except that he would need fewer credits to graduate.

“But, I really like it here and I’m moving on,” he said.

Jesus Rodriquez, 18, whose art is on display in the exhibit, said he tried harder at the academy than at his old high school because he felt the teachers were more patients. Other students echoed his statements. Marchant said she was able to help more students individually because there were fewer students per class.

Some students started the semester not sure they could create art, but gained confidence over the school year, Marchant said, adding that it’s gratifying to see the light in their eyes as they go. succeed.

Health and physical education teacher April Earl said the hardest part of her job is seeing students’ potential when they can’t, and it’s amazing when students start to believe in themselves. She added that the students produce amazing works of art.

Student artwork at Southwest Education Academy, Cedar City, Utah, April 18, 2022 | Photo by Alysha Lundgren, Cedar City News

“Whenever you are successful, you are able to believe that maybe you can be successful elsewhere, especially in school,” Earl said. “School is really difficult for them because they didn’t pass. So if you can get them to do well in school, they can change their lives.

Earl said people who want to support Southwest Education Academy classrooms can donate snacks, like granola bars or fruit snacks, noting that some students don’t have a lot of food at home.

Those interested in viewing student artwork can do so by visiting the Cedar City offices at 10 North Main Street where the exhibit will be on view through May 20.

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