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Gala spotlights alumni art

Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
From left, Rochelle Noblett, Julie O’Kane and Marcheta Williams of the Madera County Arts Council view artwork at the alumni art gallery at Madera South High School.


Madera South High School opened its doors Friday evening and invited the community to enjoy a feast for the eyes and the palate.


The occasion was the presentation of the Madera AP Alumni Art Gallery, accompanied by the handiwork of the school’s culinary arts classes.


Thirty-two works of art adorned the walls of the second floor of Madera South’s Academic B building while culinary arts students unveiled an array of elegant confections for guests to enjoy as they surveyed the artwork.


The exhibition of the digital collection of oils-on-canvas, water colors, drawings and other media was a tribute to Sheila Kincade, a MSHS art teacher since 2006 and her students, one of whom, Katie Howden, is now teaching art herself at Madera South.


Kincade began her post-secondary studies at U.C. Berkeley and graduated from CSU, Fresno. Her plan was to teach gymnastics, but her first job was teaching four science classes and one art class at Madera High School. The next year she had a choice between science and art, so she followed her instincts and chose the full-time art assignment, which took her to Madera South, where she has been ever since.


Friday’s showing included student work from 2007 to the present, and three pieces were composed by Howden, who graduated from Madera South in 2008. She is an alumna of CSU, Fresno where she was the recipient of a Smittcamp scholarship.


Howden teaches Art I and Animation at MSHS.


Kincade teaches Art I, II, and III, in addition to AP Art.


All of Kincade’s AP art students conclude their year of study with her by submitting 24 digital art pieces to the AP Central Board for evaluation. They must also submit five framed works. Kincade has stored every piece of artwork submitted by her AP students in her school computer.


All of the artwork displayed Friday came from Kincade’s computer. Each piece identified the student artist and the year it was composed.


Among the art aficionados who attended the AP Alumni Art Gallery was Gerardo Ramirez who had an art piece exhibited Friday. He was accompanied by Diego Vazquez and Manuel Aquino, both graduates of MSHS. The trio is now part of the Lignum Art Collective and is involved in painting murals in various Valley towns, including Fresno.


Ramirez, Aquino, and Vazquez helped paint the iconic mural of the purple stallions on the MSHS campus.


The deserts enjoyed by the guests were prepared by students in Marianne Rock’s Culinary Arts classes. Students Esteban De Lamora, Thalia Frausto, Juan Reyes, and Maria Toribio attended their display with fervor and ensured that no one left the exhibit wanting.


On Thursday and Friday, Rock and some of her students will host 900 MUSD 8th graders in the Madera South gymnasium where they will learn first hand of the opportunities offered in the culinary arts.


The highlight of Friday evening came when MSHS Principal Oracio Rodriguez introduced Kincade, who then presented MUSD Superintendent Todd Lile with a framed painting, the centerpiece of which contained the district’s apologia, “We Believe.”