Longtime artist and teacher Jane Buckman will have the rare opportunity to exhibit her work along with that of four of her former students who are now artists themselves. The five creative spirits will showcase their talents in the “Burning Bright” exhibit at the Contreras Gallery from Dec. 5 through Dec. 23.
Buckman has taught art at Green Fields K-12 School since 1983. The artists joining her in the exhibition studied with her and graduated from Green Fields in northwest Tucson. Founded in 1933, Green Fields is Southern Arizona’s oldest independent school.
The guest artists are Amanda Barr, a 1991 graduate who is widely exhibited and works in mixed media in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Winnie Berger, a 2010 graduate living in New York City, dancing and creating art; Lisa Kanouse, a 1994 graduate and Tucson native who works in a variety of art forms, primarily acrylic painting, and Maja Franklin Nostrant, a 1993 graduate and Tucson native who is a painter, woodworker and knitter.
“The successes of these artists are all their own. Their devotion and commitment to art are deeply rooted in their personalities,” Buckman said. All remained in touch with Buckman as their careers blossomed. They developed their skills in a geodesic dome built on the Green Fields campus as the visual arts center in 1975.
“These artists are a small representation of the many Green Fields graduates who are photographers, furniture designers, architects, artists and in art businesses throughout the country,” Buckman said. Colleague Becky Cordier has worked with Buckman at Green Fields for nearly 30 years, initially as music teacher, then middle school principal and now Head of School.
Buckman grew up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania in a small community that was very supportive of the arts. She had the freedom to explore her surroundings at an early age. She completed a bachelor’s and master’s degree in art education at Pennsylvania State University.
Early in her teaching career, Jane lived alone in the Appalachian Mountains in a secluded cabin surrounded by streams, lakes and forest. There she nurtured her respect for nature and gained a greater understanding of herself. She continues to paint her surroundings, always looking deeper inside herself in order to discover the uniqueness of each experience. Her paintings are in private and corporate collections and have been exhibited in a number of galleries.
The “Burning Bright” exhibition opens Dec. 5 with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. and continues through Dec. 23. The Contreras Gallery is in the historic warehouse arts district downtown at 110 E. Sixth St. For more information call 398-6557 or visit www.contrerashousefineart.com.
Here’s more about the Green Fields graduates and their art:
Amanda Barr was born in Ashland, Oregon to two creative bohemians. She moved to Tucson and attended Green Fields. Her father and grandfather graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design so it is no surprise that she followed in their artistic footsteps and completed a fine arts degree there in 1996. Her work has been exhibited in New York, Portland, Los Angeles, Miami, Berlin and Japan. She is known for her whimsical style of painting and sculptural forms. She also has a passion for ceramics, has curated dance performances, designed costumes and runs an artist residency in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Winnie Berger, a Tucson native, attended Green Fields School from 4th through 12th grade. She went on to Fordham University and the Ailey School in New York City where she graduated cum laude with a dual degree in dance and theology. She is lives in New York City working in the special orders department at Freed of London, dancing with Exit 12 Dance Company, and serving as artistic director of the Mook Dance Company, which she founded.
Lisa Kanouse is a Tucson native who studied art and design at Parsons School of Design in New York. She continued her education at the University of Arizona and graduated in 2000. Her artistic style is influenced by Mexican folk art as well as her interest in classical European artists. In 2004, she studied tile mosaics, sculpture and ceramics in Vincenzia and Faenza, Italy. She’s also learned printmaking and woodblock techniques in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Her subject matter ranges from local historical places in Tucson to figures, both abstract and realistic.
Maja Nostrant is the daughter of Tucson artists Francisco Franklin and Anna Franklin. Maja has spent most of her life in Tucson but has traveled to Iceland (where her mother is from) and Mexico (where her father was raised). She loves color, textiles and especially paint. She started painting in oil when she was 17 years old and has grown her business here in the Southwest. She also creates block prints and old-fashioned children’s toys.
Green Fields was founded as a boarding school for boys. It evolved into an independent day school, went coed in 1966 and today offers a continuum of education for students from kindergarten through grade 12. Young students have the opportunity to interact with their older classmates, who serve as mentors and role models. The curriculum includes core classes in English, history, science, math, the fine arts, Spanish and French, plus technology and competitive sports. The 22-acre campus gives students the space to explore their passions and their potential through academics, arts and athletics, as well as through unique enrichment programs at every grade level. Classes are small, led by skilled teachers who encourage independent thinking. Challenge, inquiry and balance are the hallmarks of a Green Fields education.
For more information on Green Fields, call 297-2288 or visit www.greenfields.org.
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