Natomas Arts: Natomas Charter Student Show

 BY TRINA DROTAR
THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

“Kara Walker and Jacob Lawrence Reinterpreted,” a selection of mixed media works created by students at Natomas Charter School’s Performing and Fine Arts Academy is currently on display at the North Natomas Library. the exhibit ends April 25.

An opening reception for the student show is scheduled for today, April 16 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the library. A second reception is scheduled for April 23 from 4:15 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the MPR Gallery located inside Natomas Charter campus.

For more than two months, the 55 middle school and high school students in Jim Vetter’s painting and drawing classes at Natomas Charter learned about two of America’s reknown African American artists – Kara Walker (b. 1969) and Jacob Lawrence (1917 – 2000).

Students started out by viewing videos and learning how Walker and Lawrence worked and why Walker incorporated the use of caricature and the Victorian-era craft of silhouette. They then went on to create two- and three-dimensional works on Masonite, plywood and other materials not traditionally associated with drawing and painting.

Each student interpreted the works of Walker or Lawrence in a variety of ways and discussed their process in accompanying artist statements.

Rebekah, a 9th grade student, wrote: “Instead of talking about slavery through my art, I decided to express and reflect hope and freedom in my piece.”

Wrote Cora, an 8th grade student, also interpreted Walker’s work, “I liked how she tackled stronger issues through simplified silhouettes.”

Other interpretations include re-imagined stories of being young, familial relationships and personal narratives, which Lawrence employed.


The North Natomas Library is located at 4660 Via Ingoglia, off Del Paso Road.

Photos by Trina Drotar & Jim Vetter