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2011 Exposures Student Journal Reception

The Grand Traverse Insider reports that the 23rd annual edition of Exposures, the Leelanau student journal of visual arts and creative writing will be unveiled on Friday. The opening reception takes place this Friday (April 29) from 4:30-7:30 at the Old Art Building in Leland. It continues from 10-4 on Saturday, April 30. The opening is free and the public is invited to meet student writers and artists from Leelanau County schools while you enjoy original visual art, poetry and essay readings, along with live music and refreshments.

The first issue of “Exposures” came out in 1988, the brainchild of the late David Viskochil, Lita Coleman, and Laura Quackenbush, all Leelanau County residents.

“It’s since become one of the most long-standing examples of success in the collaboration between school and community in Leelanau County history,” said Freed.

“David wanted to give writing and the arts the recognition that strong academic and sports performance have always enjoyed. He wanted the final product to have a professional look and feel, and to be a journal that would encourage student writers and artists to take their work seriously.

“Ultimately, he wanted writers and artists to enjoy the respect of their peers, school officials, and the community,” Freed said. “I remember him saying that he wanted the final product to look great and be cool enough that it would be like a varsity letter – something the kids could really be proud of.”

Ryan Burgard, Dana Wessels, Julia Paige, and Frank Perkins are a few of the students whose work was accepted for publication. And while they say it isn’t always easy for them to make time for their creative work, each finds that doing so is well worth the effort.

“I believe that everybody spends too much time worrying about being busy and being stressed – they don’t do creative things because they feel they would take up time and leave them feeling even more stressed,” said Burgard.

“What I’ve found is that art helps me escape the stress, and if I can find an empty moment, I usually grab a notebook or sketch pad and start writing or drawing. It helps me clear my mind and get my emotions out on paper. I often do my best poems or drawings when I’m trying to clear my mind for the night and go to sleep after a long, stressful day.”

Read the rest of this excellent article. I have to say that as a parent and longtime school board member, I feel that Exposures is one of the most worthwhile projects I’ve seen in Leelanau. Do yourself a favor and check out the exhibit – you might well find your faith in the next generation bolstered!

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