March 31, 2009

Student competitions at AIHEC

Drawing on history:  Conference features competitions in art, Web design

By JODI RAVE of the MissoulianOn Monday, Nicholas Begay swiftly moved charcoal across white drawing paper, rubbing, drawing and blending the black pigment with skill that captured judges' attention, allowing the art student to nab a first-place finish in a national tribal college drawing competition.

“I had fun,” said Begay, a junior at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, N.M. “I walked around and watched everybody work. I usually get my inspiration from other artists. I enjoyed the whole atmosphere of everybody doing art.”

Begay is among some 900 tribal college instructors, staff and students attending the American Indian Higher Education Consortium conference at Missoula's Hilton Garden Inn. The three-day event, which ends Tuesday night with an award banquet, is bringing students together from tribal colleges across the country to compete in science, speech, Web design, art, business planning, drama, hand games and critical inquiry competitions.

“We came with a busload of students, approximately 40, and they've been participating in the knowledge bowl,” said Lois Red Elk, a drama instructor at Fort Peck Community College in Wolf Point. “In preparing for these competitions, we're making sure our students are learning culture and reading contemporary books on history and Native life. The importance of it all is so that our traditions are utilized in what we're teaching and learning today in contemporary society.”
Comment:  I bet I would've done well in the critical inquiry competition. <g>

For more on Indians drawing quickly, see Bunky Paints Live!

Below:  "Joseph Old Elk, center, Nicholas Begay, left, and Bryar Flansburg, right, work on their art during a quick draw contest at the American Indian Higher Education Consortium conference in Missoula on Monday. Old Elk, a sophomore in environmental science at Little Big Horn College in Crow Agency, said he based his piece on a drawing he's made for years." (Photo by Tom Bauer/Missoulian)

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