Patience among lessons learned

It was sincerely our pleasure at Razdolna School to participate in Bunnell Street Arts Center’s Artist in the Schools program Oct. 21 through Nov. 1. Art Koeninger, metalsmith, worked with our sixth- through twelfth-graders to help them create beautiful pieces of art using nickel, brass, copper and many other materials. 

One of the things the students learned was patience. As Art stressed at the beginning of the class, he was condensing into several days what it took him years to learn on his own. The students had to be attentive, cooperative and mentally open to do the intricate work. I was very proud of my 14 middle schoolers and 14 high schoolers, as they learned new things and tried their hand at what most had never even imagined they could do. 

The best part, for the students, was the hands-on work with soldering, hammering and fabrication of their own beautiful pieces of art. Most made rings, but a few ventured into other objects as well. 

Even students who occasionally struggle with schoolwork were able to be successful with Mr. Koeninger’s lessons. I was as proud as they were with the results. We are grateful to him and to Bunnell Street Arts Center for providing us with this opportunity, and will definitely take advantage of the program again in the future. 

I also would like to thank Asia Freeman and Artist in Schools, as well as its supporters, the Alaska State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, Rasmuson Foundation, Alaska USA Federal Credit Union and Jazzline. 

Jenny Sorensen