September Artist of the Month
Congratulations Grace!

Grace Gutzkow is RHS September Artist of the Month
Grace Gutzkow was recently selected 2017's first Artist of the Month at Royalton High School. She is the daughter of Bill and Mary Gutzkow. As a senior, Grace has taken many different electives at the high school. Her favorite elective allows her to find a bright spot in her day as well as connect with what she feels is important in life.
"Grace is one of the hardest working artists in her class of many different gifted students." said Royalton High School Visual Art Instructor Carl Halverson. " When I think of what word might best describe her as a person, the word "Family" comes to mind. The Gutzkow children are all very different as individuals. But they possess one trait that most high school students seem to be missing to some degree. And that word is defined by a powerful sense of commitment to their family or home that is unwavering. To watch these siblings interact on a daily basis as well as the respect they share for their parents is a rare commodity these day in any community."
"Mr. Halverson is not just amazing at teaching art, but he also teaches lessons about life during class. He encourages everyone to create works that make them happy, or give away their talent to make others happy. He is always there for us and genuinely cares about what is going on in our lives. That is the main reason that I have taken countless numbers of art classes over the years. These two acrylic paintings are of firefighters. I chose this subject because my dad is a firefighter and I have always loved anything to do with that profession."
"Royalton High School has always had strong visual artists over the years," added Halverson. "I received a message through a former student who works as a para at our school the other day. She mentioned that her friend teaches art in Annandale, and wanted me to know that I was the main reason that she became an art teacher. Nice to hear, but you have to take it for what it's worth. The reason she became an Art Teacher really isn't because of me. What attracted her to the profession is exactly why Grace feels so at peace in the Royalton High School Art department. I don't teach to "the test". I teach to the heart. There isn't one answer to solve the problem. There is a specific answer to each student's inner dwelling, that becomes something to be displayed visually for all others to see. Grace walks into the room with a smile on her face, and uses everything she's got to create something that comes from her heart. In this case, it's a portrait that reflects the word "Family". It's not just a firefighter, but a firefighter with the name "Gutzkow" on his back. It's a personal statement of not just for an interest in the firefighting profession any more than the Annandale's art teacher is that of an interest in the profession of teaching art. It's the connection to the heart.  The idea that you may be able to help students connect their heart to their work. I guess with a name like "Grace", it is no surprise that she should grace not just my classroom, but also those lucky enough to see a senior reflect the love and respect that she has for her father. It's an amazingly refreshing element of respect that is missing in the lives of so many students these days.  Gutzkow's work will be featured in the Art showcase through November 15th.