Students express creativity at Da Vinci Fest

Students+visit+the+Gertens+booth+at+the+Da+Vinci+Fest+Jan.+25.+Students+were+able+to+take+a+quiz+to+learn+about+different+plants.+The+Gertens++booth+was+one+out+of+the+41+community+booths+guests+could+visit.

Photo by Brianne Johnson

Students visit the Gertens booth at the Da Vinci Fest Jan. 25. Students were able to take a quiz to learn about different plants. The Gertens booth was one out of the 41 community booths guests could visit.

Brianne Johnson, Layout Editor

The 12th Annual Da Vinci Fest was held Jan. 25 at Stillwater High School. The Da Vinci Fest is an educational fair open to the community in the spirit of Leonardo Da Vinci. The fest is put on by The Partnership Plan and highlights art, science and technology projects all created by Stillwater students in grades 4 through 12.

“More than 340 students entered art, science and upcycling projects, or participated in the science challenge at this year’s DaVinci Fest,” said Rick Robbins Executive Director of The Partnership Plan.

The goal of the Da Vinci Fest is to showcase the extraordinary talent of students living in the 834 district. If a student lives in the district, they are eligible to participate in the fest, no matter what school they attend.

“The Da Vinci Fest is a place where younger artists can share their artwork with the community and be critiqued for their hopeful future careers. It’s not just art, there are also science and film projects. The community can come and explore local businesses and activities offered by the Partnership Plan,” St. Croix Prep junior Isabella Johnson said.

To join the Da Vinci Fest, one must first have an eligible piece to enter. Then read the Da Vinci Fest guidelines, fill out the Google form, turn in the project and then show it in the festival. The fest has six judges who view all the pieces that were entered. Once the fest is over, the participating students make their way to the award ceremony.

“I joined the Da Vinci Fest so our community can see that students can do more than study and play sports. I also wanted to get my art work out and in to the community. My favorite part about the whole process is watching people comment on my work,” Johnson said.

This year, the Da Vinci Fest had more art projects and less science projects entered compared to previous years. Overall, attendance was much higher than previous years thanks to advertising.

I joined the Da Vinci Fest so our community can see that students can do more than study and play sports. I also wanted to get my art work out and in to the community. My favorite part about the whole process is watching people comment on my work.”

— Isabella Johnson

“Most of the advertising for the Da Vinci Fest is done within the school buildings, social media the district newsletter and the chamber of commerce web site. We have 41 community booths that also advertise for the fest. Articles promoting the event also appeared in the Stillwater Gazette and Pioneer Press,” Robbins said.

Students enter projects that they make for classes they are taking in school and projects they do on their own time. Some students work on these projects for hours and are very committed to the Da Vinci Fest.

My students made paintings and drawings, most┬ádid their project as part of their work for my class. However, many other students did work on their own, with or without a teacher’s guidance,” Art Teacher Christina Weese said.

“I entered a necklace set called Fire and Ice. I also entered a wall hanging scrap quilt called Butterfly Effect. My necklace set took eight hours. My quilt took 35 consecutive hours with only sleeping and eating breaks, I got first place on both,” Johnson added.

Planning for the Da Vinci Fest takes almost an entire year there is a lot of thought and work to make the festival happen each year.

“We start planning for the Da Vinci fest in July. Next year’s fest is scheduled for Jan. 30 at Stillwater Area High School,” Robbins said.

Overall the fest is worth all of the time, hard work and creativity that is put in it.

“The event is a lot of work but all of it is amazing, educational and entertaining,” Robbins said.

“The Da Vinci Fest is a great event that I look forward to every year,” Weese added.