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Expressing Culture and Heritage Through Art

Community members show support for the young talented artists by attending the Salt River High School and Accelerated Learning Academy (ALA) art exhibition at the Huhugam Ki Museum on April 28.

Students from Salt River High School and the Accelerated Learning Academy (ALA) are showcasing their artwork in a special exhibition at the Huhugam Ki Museum gallery. The theme of the exhibition is “A Journey Through Our Heritage.” The unique artwork created by twelve student artists was a reflection of their culture and heritage

A ribbon-cutting and opening reception for the exhibition was held on April 28. The artists’ families, friends and museum staff enjoyed refreshments and an evening of art appreciation.

“Tonight is special because it’s an opportunity for students to showcase how much their heritage and culture means to them. I really love working with the students because how much it means to them always comes through; the students have a passion for it,” said ALA Principal Mary Ann Wood. “They love the Community, and it shows in their art. As they get older, identity becomes more important. They want to understand who they are and where they come from. Art is way for them to express that.”

Kendell Balderas
“Come together all the children”

Balderas became fascinated with storytellers and their art of communication, from that he created this sculpture with clay.

Avadean Miguel
“Watching over Baby Beans”

Miguel dedicated this piece to her late uncle Jonathan Manuel who called her "Baby Beans."

Through an art and child development class offered to the students by parenting and life skills instructor Edith Eubank, students learned about the history and culture of the Community.

ALA junior Avadean Miguel produced two art pieces, one titled “Watching Over Baby Beans,” with the medium being chalk and ink. This piece was dedicated to her late uncle.

“The title comes from my uncle who passed away,” said Miguel. “He always called me ‘Baby Beans’ when I was younger. In the letters he wrote me from prison, he always said he didn’t forget about me. He loved to draw and he loved art. I always encouraged him to enter some of his work into various art shows, but he always thought it wasn’t good enough. But [his pieces] were really good. So I said, ‘I’m going to do it for him.’”

Alexis Perkins
“Flower and Maze”

Perkins wanted her drawing to be an inspiration by inlcuding the quote, "Let your inner Native bloom so that your colorful soul can shine."

Jenicia Mahle
“Still at War”

Mahle created this piece by placing colors on this photo collage to give the title a story.

SRHS freshman Keanna Osif produced artwork called “The House,” done in acrylics.

“At first it was a collage, and I remade it as a painting. I had fun doing it,” said Osif. Her inspiration for the painting stemmed from a child development class. A discussion of shading caught Osif’s attention, and she soon became fascinated by it.

The art exhibition is open to the public at the Huhugam Ki Museum through September 28.