SFA art student David Fortner shows high school students ceramic techniques in the sculpture studio during Art Day.

NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS - Elaborate works of art by creative young artists were plentiful Friday as Stephen F. Austin State University hosted Art Day, a preview program that allows high school students to experience college-level art courses.

Students attended a full-length, college-level art studio class in advertising design, cinematography, digital media, drawing, jewelry, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, art education or advanced figure drawing.

There was a general feeling of excitement among the students and teachers according to instructor Bob Kinsell, head of the SFA painting program.

"The students get to see that art isn't just something fun you do in high school. They can build a college career from their talents," Kinsell said.

Sante Fe High School student Misty Cruz explored the art of jewelry making in the art metals course. "I've learned a lot and the people at SFA are amazing. We can't wait to come back next year," Cruz said.

High school art teachers were encouraged to bring up to five of their brightest and most sincere art students to attend the annual event. Teachers also had the opportunity to channel their creative energy and construct a project inspired by natural elements found in the nearby SFA arboretum.

Kathy Marlowe, an Elkhart High School teacher, said that one of her former students is now attending SFA because of their Art Day experience.

"The Art Day program is great because it shows the students what an average day in college is like. It makes it real to them," Marlowe said.

Approximately 160 art students and 30 schools were represented at the event. "This year's Art Day was a huge success thanks to all the hard work of Marsha Blount and the planning committee, and the art instructors who did a lot of work planning for the lessons," said Matthew Sutherlin, SFA art education instructor.

"It has been an all around great experience."