Thursday, April 8, 2010

Springville Art Museum

Every year during March Sorenson’s Ranch School, a residential treatment center for troubled youth, takes the art and high-level students on a field trip to the Springville Art Museum. March is the month they hold the Utah State Student Art Show. We took the male teenagers on the first trip and then the female teenagers went a few weeks later. Sorenson’s Ranch School students usually visit four different museums each year. The Utah State Student Art Show is always the highlight of the year for the teens that go. It is inspiring to see the many different mediums at work. Sorenson’s Ranch School students came away with ideas for projects and a new appreciation of the artistic ability of teenagers their own age.

The Utah State Student Art Show is juried, and there are many exciting awards given. The top prize is the Congressional Award. There are three congressional districts in Utah. The first place prize for the Congressional Award is two round-trip airline tickets to Washington D.C. The student’s work is then hung for one year in the United States Capital Building. Some of the other awards were cash prizes and college scholarships. Sorenson’s Ranch School students were very interested in the jury process and spent time trying to guess which pieces won awards. Their favorites were not always the pieces that won awards. We discussed how art is subjective, and that there isn’t a right or wrong opinion.

Teens with behavioral problems in the public school systems rarely get to participate in these types of extra curricular activities. At Sorenson’s Ranch School, we believe that these are exactly the kind of teens that will benefit most from such cultural experiences. Teens who have been having trouble in their personal and academic life have a very myopic view of their situation and of life in general. By exposing troubled teens to these culturally enriching activities, Sorenson’s Ranch School hopes to open their minds to the many possibilities that life can offer them. These teens that have had fun and enjoyable experiences without the use of drugs are better able to keep away from drugs after returning home. It is with this in mind, that these activities are planned and prepared for the youth at Sorenson’s Ranch School.

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