By RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY
PDT Staff Writer
NEW BOSTON — With the New Boston School District now preparing to move into a new building for the first time in nearly 100 years, former students are remembering fondly the many years they spent in those old buildings.
Dr. Charles Clevenger, a 1968 graduate of Glenwood High School in New Boston, remembers being among the first group of students hand-picked by New Boston art teacher Irv Washington to start an art class in 1964. After high school, Clevenger attended college at Bob Jones University with a major in piano performance and a double-minor in German language and art. Now he teaches art at Cedarville University.
At an alumni banquet last year, Clevenger offered to paint Glenwood High School to present it to the school district as a gift to sell prints to raise money for the new school.
“I was at last year’s banquet and they were showing the new project. I was thinking about way I could help. I’m not independently wealthy, but I can do this,” Clevenger said.
Working from a photograph taken by his father, Charles Clevenger of New Boston, Dr. Clevenger spent about 30 hours on the painting. Its entire process was photographed and shared on his Facebook page, ArtLine Studios. Now finished, titled “Glenwood by the Hill,” Clevenger presented the transparent watercolor painting to the school district on Thursday.
The attention to detail is staggering, painting each and every brick, and even the different colors of the bricks. The artist did take some creative license with mother nature; capturing the best parts of all four seasons and the best time of day for sunlight.
“I think it’s just phenomenal. It’s better than I imagined,” said New Boston Superintendent Mike Staggs.
The school district was so impressed with his painting, they have asked him to also paint Stanton and Oak schools. Staggs said the school will pay him for those pieces, but only $300 for each to help him purchase supplies. His capturings of Stanton and Oak also will be painted on a smaller canvas.
“Those buildings (Stanton and Oak) aren’t as beautiful as this building (Glenwood). This building is beautiful. It just has so much character. What makes the other buildings nice is the memories. This building would be nice even if you never went to school there, because it’s beautiful architecture,” Clevenger said.
When complete, all three paintings will hang in the front-lobby of the new New Boston K-12 school building on Lakeview Avenue to remind everyone of the buildings they called home for nearly 100 years.
Prints of Clevenger’s painting will be available to purchase soon by contacting the New Boston Local School District.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 235, or firstname.lastname@example.org.