November… More Like Artvember!


Photo courtesy of Lily Gyles

November is more than a time to start preparing for the holiday season… It’s time for an art challenge created by KM Perform Art Focus sophomore, Amber Wendelburger. Inktober, the national October art prompt challenge, is over, and whether you were happy with the prompts or not, there are a new set of prompts for November, known as Artvember. This challenge is open to anyone who wishes to participate. Amber says, “I had so much fun doing Inktober and having an artistic challenge that I just had to make a challenge of my own!” Mr. Keefe says, “The real learning comes from trying things, failing, and figuring stuff out.”

For students participating, there is plenty of credit to be earned in Art Foundations, Design, and Academic Excellence. When asked about what sets apart her challenge from others, Wendelburger says, “Those participating can use any medium of art they’d like. It’s a good way to challenge artists as well as those who would like to become artists.” Art Focus mentor Mr. Keefe says that the most important takeaway is the practice and persistence that it takes to complete the challenge. He also says, “Getting the feel of the brush in your hand, how the bristles flex individually [and] different[ly] for each brush, how your arm feels moving through space, etc. [is] really something you have to get a feel for by doing.”

This was not the first time that Amber has participated in a challenge like this, but it is her first time hosting one. One of the things that Amber really tried to do with this challenge was to make it flexible and come up with different prompts that could be interpreted in different ways. One of the prompts that people are showing their creativity for is the “Whimsy” prompt. For those working ahead, some are making fairies, while others are tying it into larger projects they are working on for other classes. This has also become a regular occurrence with some of the other prompts. The prompt means something different for everyone. Seniors can even relate it into their portfolio work. Wendelburger says, “My favorite part of these challenges is seeing what everyone comes up with. I find it fascinating that one prompt can mean so many different things to so many different people.” 

When asked about what the teachers gain from participating in the challenge, Mr. Keefe says, “I am drawing all sorts of stuff I normally would avoid drawing because I wasn’t good at them… and I’m getting to practice time management.” He goes on to say that this prompt makes him push himself as far as deadlines and to stop being a perfectionist: “On a deadline, sometimes you can’t achieve perfection, and you have to detach yourself from trying to achieve that.  A good product is a good product even if it is not perfect.” He went on to say, “One of the nice things about this challenge is that eliminates one factor that scares many students away from Inktober, which is they are not interested in black and white ink. Artvember opens it up to any medium a student might want to try or is comfortable with. That removes a major obstacle to attempting a challenge like this.”

Art Focus students and teachers alike are coming together to keep up with the prompts, earn some credit, and make some amazing art over the next few weeks. Many are posting their creations on their websites and on their social media pages. To stay connected with the challenge, use the hashtag #artvemberfall2019, and stay tuned in the KM Perform hallway for some great art!