Art students visit, tour SFA campus

Art teacher Betsy Bland and some of her advanced art students recently enjoyed touring the SFA campus. Pictured from left to right are: Gracie Johnson, Makinzi Stevens, Alex Fenton, Carlee Dupuy, and art teacher Betsy Bland.

Marshall S. Braus and Jordan Pollock

Four advanced art students and their art teacher, Betsy Bland, recently traveled to Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches for SFA’s annual Art Day. Bland has been taking her advanced students for about four or five years now after hearing about it through the Summer Art for Educators that she has attended for several years.

During their trip, one of the SFA professors did a hands-on demonstration of a zing laser cutter/printer that the Art Department owns. Then, the professor of Art Education led Bland and the students on a tour of the art building and all of the classrooms. The professor also took Bland’s class to to his and another professor’s office that doubled as mini studios, to see the art and photography on display in them.

The students also got to experience eating in the SFA Student Center cafeteria, as well as visiting the Old Stone Fort, a historic part of the SFA campus. They also visited several new buildings on campus and got to tour the new athletic complex.

According to Bland, her students learned about more than just different art techniques while on campus.

“They learned the various art classes that colleges can offer that high schools cannot,” she said. “They got to see college students in class and working. They learned that walking around campus and riding bikes is the preferred, and common, means of transportation.”

Bland said the trip was especially wonderful for her because she is a graduate of SFA.

“I absolutely love SFA and Nacogdoches,” she said. “The atmosphere of the campus, trees changing colors, Camilla bushes in bloom, and the weather was all beautiful.”

Junior Gracie Johnson was one of the students that attended the field trip and she said the tour of SFA was really cool.

I had lots of fun and gained a few ideas of what the college life looks like.”

— Gracie Johnson

“I had lots of fun and gained a few ideas of what the college life looks like,” Johnson said.

Junior Alex Fenton said she learned a lot about how to get pictures on to metal and how to work a zing. She also enjoyed playing with the laser cutter and touring the pottery room.

Junior Makinzi Stevens said the tour of SFA was very fun and educational.

“My favorite part was seeing all the photography things,” Stevens said. ” I learned there is a type of photograph that is called tintype, which is the old cameras that print on a piece of metal.”

This experience was one Bland and her students will not forget anytime soon.

“My students really enjoyed a new experience,” Bland said. “They enjoyed meeting the professors, learning a little taste of what college life is like, the demo of the laser cutter/printer, and getting to create some pieces they got to bring home. If anyone is considering attending SFA, I highly recommend it!”