Talent Abounds at Kelseyville High School
February 08, 2017
Staff at the Lake County Office of Education (LCOE) are enjoying beautiful artwork, which is on display at the main office, created by Miss. Debbie Ingalls’ Advanced Art students from Kelseyville High School.
Ingalls teaches Advanced Art to Sophomore, Freshman, Junior and Senior High students. Projects have been created in a variety of mediums including colored pencil, graphite, pen & ink, pen & ink - pointillism, scratch art, and mixed media.
Ingalls shared how pleased she is working with students and challenging them to “find the art that is inside of them”. She said many students come to her not knowing what they are capable of, and even tell her they can’t do art. Ingalls smiled and said it’s her mission to prove them wrong and it’s a joy to show her students they can create something they are proud of! She believes every student has art inside and some just need help finding it. Ingalls focuses on encouraging students to create a piece of art from start to finish; concept to completion, to matting and framing to displaying work they, and others, can enjoy.
“I teach students the importance of the materials, how to handle them and taking pride in displaying a final piece, something they, initially, never thought possible!” Ingalls states she feels very blessed to be part of the discovery process.
“Art is also relaxing and calming,” says Ingalls. She has worked with a number of severely handicapped and developmentally delayed students who struggle in their other studies but flourish in her art class.
Past students in her class have been commissioned to paint the mural that is currently on the side of the Steele Winery building in Kelseyville. Other students of Ingalls have won the congressional art award, a national competition, won the Chacewater Olive Festival Poster Contest, and the Lake County Grand Jury Report - where student artwork is selected to be showcased on the cover of the report.
State funding for the art program is only $1,200 a year, which amounts to approximately $3 in art supplies per student. That amount doesn’t go far at all. Ingalls has spent money out of her own pocket to buy items for students to have the supplies they need.
Ingalls also spoke of a former student, Josh Heston, who tragically passed away. Ingalls was moved to near tears, stating, “Art was such an important part of Josh’s life that his family have honored the program by pledging to donate $4,000 a year to help fund supplies for Kelseyville High art students. A blessing to other students from such a tragic event.”
In December 2016, the Lake County Wine Alliance also donated $3,000 to the art program at Kelseyville High.
Community donations are key and without them Ingalls would not be able to give her students access to a broad spectrum of mediums, which has opened up greater experience and creativity.
“With these generous donations, we are able to buy, for example, actual canvases and fountain pens and tips rather than have students use copy paper and ballpoint pens. It really has been a huge blessing,” stated Ingalls.
Ingalls is pleased that her students’ work is being recognized, stating, “I love my students and want them to get the accolades that they deserve. I don't think society as a whole tells enough about the great things young adults do.”
Anyone interested in donating to the Kelseyville High School art program or in purchasing any student art pieces, please contact Debbie Ingalls at: firstname.lastname@example.org