Wrangell’s elementary students welcomed a talented visitor this week. Ketchikan artist Evon Zerbetz is holding workshops for students. And the theme is birds, all kinds of them, in anticipation of this weekend’s Stikine River Birding Festival. The student projects will be on display at the Nolan Center this Friday.
Kindergartners are making paper bird mobiles. They tie a string to the bird so they can suspend them in the air. The birds have twigs for feet and are lightly painted with watercolors.
The fifth graders are doing something a little harder. They’re making prints using linoleum. They draw a simple design, transfer it to the lino block and cut into the smooth surface. It creates a distinct black-and-white print students can use again and again.
Avery is a soft-spoken, fifth-grade boy. He shows me his design.
“It’s a crane and the background I just did some waves, wavy lines,” he says.
Avery takes his cutting knife and starts carving. He’s a little more confident than the other kids.
“I just love doing art, drawing, seeing what I can make and how the pencil or carving tool moves and how it feels.”
Zerbetz is also hosting a lithography workshop for adults.
Student and adult art entries will be on display at the Nolan Center at 6 p.m. Friday. Guest speaker Mark Kelley of Juneau will also present his photography of Alaska’s parks and wildlife.