A casual observer may think there's something fishy going on at the junior high school. But it's really an interdisciplinary arts program for children in the community.
The fish sculpting and movement classes are part of a nine-day workshop sponsored by the Lehi Arts Council. Doris Trujillo, director of the program for the third summer, said she's taken the interdisciplinary approach because "we really want to educate students that the arts are related, and that because they're related, we can draw inspiration from other art forms."Trujillo, from the artists bank of the Utah Arts Council's Artists-in-Education program, is teaching creative dance/movement classes with Cheryl Allguier, a high school dance instructor. They're focusing on underwater qualities of movement which go along with the other main class: sculpting fish from wire, papier mache, and styrofoam.
Bri Matheson - also known as Fish Man through such AIE activities as the Utah Arts Festival - is supervising study and construction of the sculpted fish. The fish will be displayed as part of the scenery for the dances the movement classes will perform in an informal program at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
In addition to spending one hour in each of the movement and craft classes, the students have had guest artists present a variety of demonstrations and programs during another half-hour period each morning.
Rafon Rogers showed students how to tell a story with props, puppets, movement, and visual aids. Stephen Stredbeck explained how his sculptures go from clay as bronze. Leroy Wilcox put on a marionette show, and band teacher Richard Devey demonstrated different sounds on the synthesizer.
Workshop students also got a preview of one scene from Lehi Community Theater's "Little Lord Fauntleroy," which continues 7:30 p.m. performances at the high school through Saturday.
Trujillo, a Lehi resident and member of the city's arts council, said the workshop was extended to two weeks this year in order to give children a more in-depth experience. "This way, they've had more time to explore the arts, not just taste them," she said.
Many of the children who signed up this year are veterans of the past two workshops - a definite advantage when you're trying to build on the basics, said Trujillo. She hopes the annual summer program will eventually develop into a six-week workshop.
The summer workshop was partly funded by a grant from the Utah Arts Council.