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Hass wins best visual artist award

Superior Council holds series of public hearings

Nuckolls County shares in tire recycling grant

Tickets still available for USAF band concert


Hass wins best visual artist award

by Marty Pohlman
"What is art?" is a time-honored question with as many answers as there are individuals living on the planet. When this reporter posed this query to a group of Mel Rempe's Superior High School art students the one recurring theme was "self-expression" in a visual manner.
Mel Rempe, who has been the art instructor for eight years, has more than 100 students, from Superior Junior and Senior High School enrolled in her art classes. The course is an elective. Seventh graders are exposed to art history and begin to work in different medias. With Rempe's guidance and encouragement, students use art as their personal outlet for self-expression. Several students related that the graphic arts provide a needed outlet to relive the stress of daily student life and explore their voyage of self-discovery.
Among the high school students, pencil and pen and ink drawing is the most popular form of expression . Students relate that the format allows them to practice their technique in any setting.
Students work on assignments in class, executing their vision of a selected subject. With the encouragement of Rempe, they also work on projects of their own devising. Several students have taken an interest in pottery. The art classroom has two potters wheels where students throw pots under Rempe' tutelage. Rempe is an accomplished potter who produces pottery of her own distinct design.
Aspiring artists also work with acrylic paints. A computer system allows class members to explore the world of computer animation and graphics, a fast growing field, thanks to video games and computerized motion pictures.
Students work at their own pace for personal satisfaction. Art is a subjective subject, students are not constrained by rigid rules. Rempe instills the basics of the various technical aspects of the medias and then it is up to the student to find their own path.
One tradition established by Rempe requires one to look up. Each year the senior class paints a ceiling panel to be installed in the hallway outside the art classroom. Some classes use the collaborative approach while others designate one of their own to execute the panel. Each class member adds their signature and the class year and the panel is returned to the ceiling.
While art is an individual endeavor, there are competitions which students may submit their work to judged. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln sponsors such an event for Nebraska high school students. Contestants may enter up to two example of their work in their junior year as they vie to be selected for a Nebraska Young Artist award. Student work is entered by the teacher. Those who are selected in their junior year may then submit up to two examples of their work in their senior year to be considered for the Nebraska's Best Visual Arts Award. Only those who have won the Young Artist award are eligible for the competition. Students all across Nebraska enter this prestigious event. Winners have their work exhibited at the UN-L campus art gallery. The winners are also feted and honored at a banquet. Few are selected to receive this award but one of Rempe's students was accorded this honor in 2016.
Emily Hass, daughter of Jason and Nancy Hass, Superior, entered into last year's Young Artist event and won the prize for her one entry. She also submitted one entry, a pencil drawing, into this year event and was selected for the Best Visual Arts award. Hass has attended Superior schools since kindergarten. She always liked to draw and her parents encouraged her artistic pursuits. She enrolled in Rempe's art class in her sophomore year. Her preferred medium is pencil. She also enjoys working with charcoal. She works in metal, using a knife to strip away a coating to form designs. Caricatures have piqued her interest and she showed several example of her work. Her portfolio includes a pencil drawing of a sonogram of an unborn child, a clown fish done pointillism, a technique which utilizes small dots to form a whole and acrylic paints on board where she dilutes the paint with water to achieve a distinct look.
Hass will attend the University of Nebraska-Kearney in the fall. Her plans are to major in art education. She expressed an interest in art therapy as a career option. Whatever path she chooses, she said art will play a major part in her life.
For students in Rempe's classes art is not about a vocation but an avocation which enriches their daily lives and provides a means of expressing their feelings during their emerging years as young adults.

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Superior Council holds series of public hearings
Members of the Superior City Council held four public hearings Monday night but with only four of the required five council members present all action was tabled.
Council members Rick Disney and Kent Jensby did not attend the meeting and the regulations require five council members be present before a vote can be taken on the proposals.
In other action Mayor Sonia Schmidt's appointment of Karen Rothfuss to the Superior Park and Cemetery Board.
The council reviewed the progress or lack of such on a number of properties which have come under the nuisance abatement program guns with Jana Punelli, a community consultant employed by the South Central Economic Development District. Owners of the properties will be receiving letters advising what action they must take to bring the properties into compliance with the city code. A few owners will receive letters of thanks for bringing properties into compliance.
As cost estimates continue to exceed funding available the planned resurfacing of Eighth Street and streets in the Oak Ridge subdivision those projects were tabled for this year.
With the State of Nebraska resurfacing Highway 136 this year, and the State of Kansas resurfacing Highway 36 this year, it was hoped the projects would be affordable. That hope has faded. It now appears the projects may be delayed, perhaps several years, while the city attempts to save additional money which can be applied to the work.
The council approved the 2016-2017 rescue squad officers. Carrie Lemke is captain, Chris Andersen, lieutenant, TJ Sibert, president, Camie Kroeger, vice president, and Jon Paddock, secretary-treasurer.

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Nuckolls County shares in tire recycling grant
Nuckolls County will share in more than $2 awarded by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality to support 128 tire recycling and cleanup projects across the state.
The grants support local efforts to clean up tire piles and conduct community scrap tire collections. In addition, funds will be used by schools and organizations across the state to provide partial reimbursement for playground mulch, synthetic turf fields, running tracks, and other recycled rubber projects that were made from scrap tires.
Nebraskans generate nearly 1.9 million scrap tires each year, about one tire for every person in the state. The grants are part of NDEQ's Waste Reduction and Recycling Grants program, and are funded by a $1 fee on new tires purchased in Nebraska.
Nuckolls County will receive funding to help with the cleanup of 150 tons of scrap tires.
Superior Public Schools will receive a 50 percent match for the purchase of 40,950 pounds of rubber playground mulch and a twenty-five percent match for six rubber mats.
Lawrence-Nelson Schools will receive a 50 percent match for the purchase of 28,000 pounds of rubber playground mulch.


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Tickets still available for USAF band concert
Tickets are still available for the SAC Brass musical concert set for 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Superior Elementary School. Doors will open at 6 p.m. to those with tickets. At 6:50 any remaining seating will be made available for those people who did not obtain advance tickets.
The free tickets are available at the newspaper offices in Superior, Nelson and Mankato.
The concert is sponsored by The Superior Express, the Nuckolls County Locomotive-Gazette, the Jewell County Record and the Superior Schools.
The musicians plan a special tribute to veterans and a local color guard will assist with that tribute. Music students from the Superior Schools will assist with the concert and will be given an opportunity to play with the SAC musicians..

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