Teacher brings fast-paced art competition to Effingham Co.

EFFINGHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) – It’s a first of its kind of event in our area that’s becoming a bit of a cultural phenomenon, Art Throwdown.

It puts school vs school and student vs student in competitive timed artmaking events.

“Typically, when we celebrate art it is very quiet and it’s very reserved and there’s not a lot of participation,” says South Effingham HS Art Educator Lindsey Gerow.

While that works for some, when Gerow heard about something called ‘Art Throwdown’ she saw an opportunity.

“Art Throwdown is a chance for our artist to come out of the classroom and into the arena and compete in front of a live audience.”

Not only does it bring the artmaking process into a public venue but, “normally in the classroom setting they’d have weeks; in this case they have minutes,” Gerow says.

A concept that admittedly was new to just about everyone.

“I’d never heard of that before,” said SEHS Junior Jeden Kessler.

But it didn’t take too long for Kessler and the rest of her new team to get hooked.

“It’s an adrenaline rush, it’s an adrenaline rush.”

Of course, it forces the artist to approach their work in a new way.

“It’s really different than normal because it goes really fast, so you don’t have time to over-analyze yourself,” said SEHS Senior Maggie Watts.

“You can’t erase anything so it’s probably going to be like, wow,” added Senior Indie Beach.

Changing how the art is made and maybe more importantly, how it, and the artist are viewed.

“I really hope that just like our student athletes, our student artists get the same excitement and recognition that they deserve,” Gerow says.

After giving their classmates a preview of the Throwdown at last weeks pep rally, it would seem it’s already doing just that.

“There was a group of people who used to bully me in Elementary and Middle school, and they were literally cheering my name. They were like, ‘go Jeden go!’” Kessler recalls.

So, win or lose this weekend for Mrs. Gerow, Art Throwdown has already been more than she ever imagined.

“To hear that kind of excitement associated with their artwork is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before, it’s really beautiful. It was really cool.”

If you’d like to come out and support the team, Art Throwdown is this Saturday from 10 am to noon at South Effingham High School.

It is free to attend.

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