Claire Mapes and Cassie Waddel

Claire Mapes, left, and Cassie Waddel looks for implied lines an untitled painting by Omaha artist Peter Walkley, part of the display, “Junior Curator Show: Underscoring: Line.”

KEARNEY — Each year, a select group of high school students takes on a project at the Museum of Nebraska Art to create an exhibit from pieces in the museum’s permanent collection.

Tessa Atkins, Claire Mapes and Cassie Waddel collaborated the exhibit, “Junior Curator Show: Underscoring: Line,” which continues on display at the museum through Aug. 11.

The trio looked for a common element to explore and settled on the concept of “line.”

“Line is crucial to the visual arts because it is present in every piece in some aspect,” wrote Waddel in an email interview. “Line could range anywhere from a physical, present line, such as an outline to the direction of how the composition is arranged, such as an implied line. Implied lines are lines that are not actually visible in the composition. Line is in every piece of art in some capacity.”

The students worked with museum staff to conceptualize the theme, find artwork that reflects the theme and install the pieces of art in a meaningful way in the gallery. The experiential learning expands their knowledge of art, museums and possible careers in the field.

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Atkins also sees the importance of the line in artwork.

“Line plays a huge role in art because it’s the way the artist expresses or communicates to us,” she wrote in an email interview with the Hub. “Line also is a way to define a shape.”

Those shapes can contain hard lines or implied lines.

As for a takeaway from the experience, Atkins feels that concentrating on line helps her see how the elements of art work together. She hopes that patrons can find those same concepts.

“I want patrons to take away from seeing ‘Underscoring: Line’ probably would be that everything has line in it no matter what the artist has drawn,” she wrote. “I want them to see how artists use line in many ways to express themselves.”

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