Local art teachers reinvent Christmas icon

By By Alex Onken / American Press

It’s more than just a ballet.

The Art Associates Gallery, on the second floor of the Central School Arts and Humanities Center, 809 Kirby St., is presenting

its nutcracker exhibit.

The nutcrackers in the collection were decorated by local art teachers with various themes and styles, including Wonder Woman,

R2-D2, pirates and Van Gogh.

“Every one of them comes from an art specialist or art teacher within the school system, all the way from elementary to high

school,” said Barbara Yancey, president of Art Associates and an art specialist for the Calcasieu Parish school system.

Work on this year’s project started in the summer. Yancey herself created a nutcracker. It took her a couple of days to complete

it.

“It was a lot of fun, turning something traditional into a unique kind of character, and exploring some of the ideas and things

that maybe you’re partial to as an artist.”

The first nutcracker exhibit was held in the Calcasieu Parish school system office and featured student-made nutcrackers.

This year the exhibit was moved to a gallery setting, which is more accessible to the public.

“We did have student nutcrackers,” Yancey said. “But the students move on to other schools and grow up, so we gave them back.

“It makes me feel great that we (art educators) come all together. The very reason we come together is because of our very

love of art, creativity and imagination.”

The exhibit will run until Dec. 31. Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.