A couple of weeks ago when I was dropping by the high school I noticed a very creative and unusual sculpture by the front door. As I studied the sculpture I realized that the artists tried to depict a part of their high school experience by the objects represented in the sculpture. Behind the sculpture is an explanation of the artists' intent.
The sculpture was created by last year's spring trimester students-mostly seniors. It is titled "The Willed Totem." Each object of the totem represents the item the departing senior desired to "will to the school." I love that the totem is so prominently displayed for the students and visitors alike to appreciate. I admire art teacher Mr. Wick Ashley's work and dedication to erecting the art and Principal Ms. Michelle DeBoard's enthusiastic support for seeing the value of displaying students' work.
I took the time to go on the school Web site and studied some of the course offerings for visual art at the high school. Clearly, the growing student population at the high school has demanded that more courses be offered to accommodate the needs of the students. However, just as with the performing arts programs, the visual art programs are growing because of the quality and diversity of the course offerings. While interviewing Mr. Ashley for this article, he explained that in his five-year tenure at the school the programming has nearly doubled-not just because of holes in students' schedules, but because of interest. The growing interest has created a need for advanced classes in the mediums of painting, drawing, photography, ceramics and jewelry. The students now have their own gallery located outside their art room where their works can be displayed.
It was exciting to see on Mr. Ashley's Web site talk of an after school art club being formed. Mention of possibly opening the art room to the community during the art club time was discussed. How exciting to think that our student artists would perhaps be allowed to have the opportunity of that multi-generational experience as they pursued their interest in art. Of all the experiences I have had in the last four years working as a volunteer in the community supporting the arts, seeing generations working and performing side by side has been by far the most rewarding aspect of being involved. One of the reasons Michael Allen Harrison's Snowman Foundation found the grant for the piano so compelling was because of the Sherwood Chorale, which includes students, parents and even grandparents. Last summer as I watched the wonderful Robin Hood Marching Band I was again thrilled by the fact that parents were playing with children and adults were showing our students that music and art don't end after graduation.
On Friday, April 6, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., the Sherwood High School will be hosting their third annual art show. Mr. Ashley said that not only will student works be displayed, but student demonstrations will also be ongoing throughout the event. His hope is that the community can get a glimpse into what really goes on in the high school art classes. The student leadership class, under the direction of Ms. Dorene Steffeck, will be holding a silent auction during the art show. The student catering class will be catering the event and Mr. Angeloni, the high school band director, will be providing musicians to perform. I love to publicize the cooperation and work of dedicated teachers and administrators in supporting art education. I hope you will join me in supporting this event to show our gratitude of those dedicated individuals as well as appreciation for their students' efforts for our own enjoyment and For Arts Sake.