Artist-in-Residence brings advanced techniques, stop-motion animation to David City High School

Artist-in-Residence Peggy Reinecke explains the different features Photoshop and Illustrator have to offer. Reinecke helped students bring their artwork to life by adding motion to their paintings.

Nicole Buntgen, Co-Editor

Through the Nebraska Arts Council, Artist-in-Residence Peggy Reinecke made her debut at David City High School on March 3 through March 9 to enlighten students with her digital and stop-motion animation skills.

Reinecke began her mornings working with Art Teacher Margaret Detmer’s graphic design and painting classes. Because Detmer was looking for advanced techniques, Reinecke spent a plethora of her time doing work on Photoshop and Illustrator, with Detmer covering InDesign once Reinecke left.

“It’s a different interaction since everyone’s behind their own computer, but I feel like I’ve given something of interest to most of the people in those classes,” Reinecke said. “It’s enjoyable for me to see people take design seriously at an early point in their career.”

Detmer said Reinecke worked with the kids on Illustrator to bring motion to their paintings. This process began by taking a picture of the painting. From there, Reinecke transformed their art as she made faces three-dimensional, hair fly around, and even put pictures in slow motion.

“I would describe the things she does as complex. The kids were impressed, but I think it just went over their heads. The first couple of days it was somewhat stressful but things got better,” Detmer said. “She showed them a new career that was out there that they probably didn’t even know about. She brought a different way to show shapes through Illustrator, and personally, I now want to expand and work more with Illustrator.”

English Teacher Jarod Ockander preferred a different approach as he requested stop-motion animation to be covered in his classes. Reinecke spent her afternoons in Ockander’s English, speech, and film classes.

“When someone was telling me who I was working with, they told me Mr. Ockander is a very good speech teacher. I enjoy that he has given them the sense of improvisation and how students should think about their options in the middle of a process,” Reinecke said. “I’ve enjoyed observing the students work on their projectssome have been successful and very funny!”

According to Ockander, students worked on various stop-motion animation projects by reenacting Our Town, a book the junior English students are currently reading. Other classes simply made creative movies for fun with the equipment provided by Reinecke. Since Reinecke already had the proper materials, Ockander said this made the process easier.

“She let them independently create, where as I usually give them a shove in one direction or another. Usually the students created projects that we probably wouldn’t have thought about, but because they were thinking a little more outside-the-box, they were able to create those movies.” Ockander said.

Along with going around to schools, Reinecke said she also reaches out through Metropolitan Community College, where she has been teaching at for over twenty years. Between carrying her work to the Children’s Museum and teaching a workshop called “Thursday’s for Teachers”, Reinecke said her goal is to incorporate real-world skills into the actual real world and combine them with digital skills.

“I do enjoy coming to schools, though, because I get to meet and interact with people for a longer period of time,” Reinecke said. “I have several days, rather than being in-and-out in one day. I think this helps people consider their own artwork even more.”

To see more of Reinecke’s artwork and animations, click the following links.