FROM READERS: Oakland Junior High School artists show their works at downtown galleries

Monday, May 7, 2012 | 6:11 p.m. CDT
Jody Spriggs, an art educator at Oakland Junior High School, shares her student's art work inspired by Georgia O'Keeffe. Other works by Oakland students will be presented at The Bead Gallery and Kent's Floral Gallery.

Jody Spriggs is an art educator with the Columbia Public Schools at Oakland Junior High School, and she shared this story and these photos with the Missourian.

The 28th Annual Partners In Education Week is this May 3-10 and, as part of the event, Oakland students from Mrs. Spriggs’ eighth and ninth grade classes are displaying work at The Bead Gallery, 110 Orr Street Ste. 103 and at Kent's Floral Gallery, 919 Broadway Blvd.

In an effort to make a connection to the Kent’s Floral Gallery location, ninth grade students created large-scale, collaborative paintings of bones and flowers inspired by the artwork of Georgia O'Keeffe. Additionally, the students carved abstract and non-objective subtractive sculptures in floral foam. These works were inspired by the abstract and non-objective works of Henry Moore, David Smith and Alexander Calder. Subtractive carving can prove quite challenging, which is why this project was introduced later in the year after the students had experience with additive methods and assemblages. 

The work at The Bead Gallery showcases acrylic paintings on canvas in an Impressionistic style, self-portraits inspired by the self-expression of the Harlem Renaissance, and watercolor landscape paintings. Each piece follows curricular objectives, while challenging the student to make individual choices that personalizes the artwork.

As the end of the school year approaches, students are asked to reflect back about the body of work produced during the class. This is the artistic culmination of the ninth graders’ junior high school visual art experience. Students reflect upon their use of media, technique, expression, subject and ideation to put together an artist’s statement. As you can see from the displays of their work, these students have accomplished something of which they should truly be proud.

Over 40 works by the Oakland artists are on display at these two locations. We invite you to stop by to view the work and thank these local business owners for supporting the arts in our community. For more information or with questions, please contact

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.

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