Stevenson High School students painted, danced and even pruned tiny bonsai trees Wednesday as the two-day Odyssey fine arts festival drew to a close.
Held every two years at the Lincolnshire school, Odyssey replaces the students' regular schedule with creative programs led by professionals in the arts. Some programs are performances and others feature hands-on activities for students.
"Odyssey is a great event for our students because it allows them to expand their horizons and to develop a richer appreciation for the arts, which can enrich their lives," Stevenson spokesman Jim Conrey said. "Our hope is that Odyssey will be one of those special moments that students remember when thinking about their time at Stevenson."
This year's fair featured about 150 guest instructors or performers. The headliner was C5 Aerial Dance, a Chicago-based group that incorporates dance choreography and aerial acrobatics.
Other artists included:
• Kevin Kantor, a spoken-word poet who is a Stevenson alumnus.
• Brent Webb, who reads minds and does magic tricks and comedy.
• The Shades, a three-man band that includes two Stevenson alumni.
Junior Christina Wade said her favorite program was a session about modern dance led by a group called Chicago Dance Crash.
"They showed us all different forms of dance, like ballet, jazz, krump and hip-hop," she said. "And they gave a little history and background."
Junior Marc Mills was among the students who learned bonsai, a Japanese art form that involves caring for trees in containers or pots.
"I wanted to try something new, and I thought shaping a living thing was interesting," he said. "It's simpler than I thought."