Jennyne Pinter, jpinter@bossierpress.com

The inaugural i3 Art Expo saw students from all disciplines showcasing their creativity at the Bossier Civic Center this weekend. 

Murals of art created by hundreds of special needs students across 30 schools lined 360 feet of fence by the building’s sidewalk off Benton Road. The brightly colored painting, detailed shapes and imaginative design of the “ThisAbility” mural/walk illustrated what i3 stands for – Inspiration, Imagination and Innovation.

Inside, the ceilings of the center were draped with huge vibrant streamers, which dangled colorful looping chains from their center. Each school created a decorative booth which held their artists’ displays.  

Superintendent Scott Smith said the i3 Art Expo that ran from Thursday through Saturday was his brain-child that came about in less than one year.

“When what you envision becomes bigger than what you ever envisioned, then you really have knocked the ball out of the ballpark,” Smith stated proudly.  “I really believe that is what has occurred over the last three days. Every single department of the Bossier Parish School System has been involved in putting this together.”

Sidney Lain celebrates her award with Stephen D. Porter, artist & instructor with Bossier Schools Talented Arts Program, at the i3 Art Expo Saturday, May 5.

The event’s mascots — alligators Izzy, Ike, and Ivy — socialized with the crowd by dancing and performing on a small stage for the children in the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) area of the event, which presented various crafts and for the younger crowd. 

Scarlett Smith was one of the volunteers helping five-year-old Camila and seven-year-olds Kathryn and Elias.

“They pick a rock and there are several different colors. After they decorate the rock, they’ll drop it into the rock garden up there,” she said pointing to a large garden box at the center of the room. “And from there it is going to go to the Bossier Educational Service Center building on Douglas Drive and they’re going to make a rock walk with it.”

As the viewing of the artwork in the main area dwindled down, the crowd took seats around Inspiration Stage. The walls of the large area were covered in writings by students from the numerous Bossier schools. The Bossier Parish Honor

Choir then assembled upon the risers, led by guest conductor Adam Philley and with piano accompaniment by Leesa Ward.

Prior to the awards ceremony, Smith was presented with a large canvas decorated with an unique, spirograph-like shape of various colors made by a collaboration of young artists as thanks.

“This is just the beginning. When you have a mission and a vision, it’s pretty hard to stop it and that’s exactly what happened in these past three days and culminated in this huge event,” said Smith.  

“To put together a 3-day event of this magnitude, it takes a lot of support,” said Sonja Bailes, the public relations liaison for Bossier Parish Schools. “Bossier Schools is both blessed and grateful to the many sponsors who have made i3 Art Expo such a smashing success in its first year.”

The 1st place winners were as follows:

2D Art

  • McKaylin Roberson, Platt K-2, 2D – “Crab”
  • Lauren Wendrock, W.T. Lewis, 3-5, 2D – “Animal Mask Sketches”
  • Delaney Walker, Greenacres, MS, 2D – “It’s a Rocky Road”
  • Sarah Wyatt, Parkway, HS, 2D – “Ballroom Dancer”

3D Art

  • James Burns, Kingston, 3-5, 3D – “Cammo Dragon”
  • Reagan Favor, Cope, MS, 3D – “Pangolin On the Move”
  • Prescious Sam’pl, Haughton, HS, 3D – “Alice”

Photography

  • Nandini Tivakaran, Airline, HS, Photography (People) – “The Grandmother”
  • James Hunter Johnson, Airline, HS, Photography (Nature) – “Water”
  • Nandini Tivakaran, Airline, HS, Photography (Still Life) – “Sarongs”

Theatre

  • Salina Smith and De’Asia Lewis, Bossier, HS, Scenes
  • Nolan Tomasek, Airline, HS, Monologues
  • Madison Mason, Parkway, TAP, HS, Best Original Piece

Musical Composition

  • Camilla Webster, Benton, TAP, HS, Instrumental
  • Madelyn Stewart, Airline, HS, Vocal
  • Justus Mitchell, Airline, TAP, HS, SInger/Songwriter

Short Film

  • Jaigen Campbell and Alyssa Arbuckle, BPSTIL,HS, Best Picture – “Awakening”
  • Alyssa Arbuckle, BPSTIL, HS – Best Editing
  • Sidney Lain, Haughton, HS – People’s Choice – “A Conversation with Stephen D. Porter”

Best School Booth

  • T.L. Rodes

More photos from the event are below: