SKYCTC art program molds students for future success

By Aaron Mudd BG Daily News

Two shoes made out of masking tape in caseSculptures of strange creatures and shoes made of masking tape took shape Wednesday as art students at Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College brought their ideas to life.

Among them was Caleb Conway of Bowling Green who shaped a half-chameleon and praying mantis hybrid out of wire, along with other students working on similar projects.

"I was just drawing, and that's just what came out," he said.

Conway, who's been drawing and sketching since he was a kid, called the 3-D design class challenging but worth it.

"I just think it's like nothing I've ever done before," he said of the class.

Like several other students in his class, Conway wants to pursue an arts career. As a fan of video games, he wants to work in the industry as a concept artist designing art for games and creating animated characters.

Art instructor David Jones believes that learning to work across mediums can teach his students problem-solving skills, think spatially and be creative no matter what profession they work in.

"I think you can apply it to anything that you do," he said.

The sculpting class is new to the community college's associate in arts program, which is three years old. Jones said students can transfer to any in-state school as a junior after graduating the program.

That's appealing to Conway, who's considering attending art school in Nashville. Conway said he's "getting better at getting my thoughts out on to the paper," and adapting it to different materials through the class.

He also appreciates getting three hours to work on projects twice a week. He works over 30 hours a week at Hilligan's Bar and Grill and would "highly recommend" the program.

assmate Molly Lee of Bowling Green, who was working on her own half-elephant and seahorse wire sculpture, also appreciates the program. She's taken several courses with Jones, who she said has helped her find direction toward a career in graphic design. She said it's given her experience across different subjects.

"So even if I don't like it I can at least say that I tried it," she said. Two shoes made out of tape displayed in case

Lee took art classes in all four years of her high school career. It wasn't until later that she realized she could do more than become an art teacher, as her teachers suggested. It's her last semester in the program, and she plans to attend WKU in the spring to pursue a graphic design degree.

Some students plan to hang their projects once complete. Jones has planned for the semester 10 different projects featuring cardboard and sculptures made out of any object the students can find.

Alex Young of Bowling Green wants to go into computer animation and said he's benefitted from the variety of projects. A previous project to create a shoe out of masking tape taught him "a lot about forms" and how shoes are made.

Young described another planned project where students will give objects new textures by juxtaposing different textures, such as a bicycle seat covered in thumb tacks or a football helmet covered with tampons.

"You kind of figure out how to make things you didn't know how to," he said.

Follow education reporter Aaron Mudd on Twitter @BGDN_edbeat or visit bgdailynews.com.