Students, parents, members of the community and art aficionados gathered at Portsmouth High School Thursday night for the ‘Made with Purpose’ fifth annual art show, which showcased works created by students in grades seven through 12.
Works created by those in grades nine through 12 were selected by art teacher April Deacon, totaling around 120 pieces from high school students alone.
Student Lukas Maschmeier explained his piece, a three-dimensional work made up of wood blocks.
“There was an artist who died, I cant remember her name but she did a lot of figures made of wood and old pieces. We basically had to memorialize her by taking pictures of our family and recreating them. Mine was based on an old picture of me and my sister Zander when we were young, but it’s completely updated,” said Maschmeier. “In the picture, she wore a little purple dress and I wore a shirt with a black vest that had argyle print. But I wanted to keep in really basic and simple to show much we’ve evolved. So I’m painted with a shirt and tie, very contrasting to her large flowy dress that has a lot of color and boldness. We used wood to give it depth and honor the artist.”
“They are doing an awesome job, I have a really wonderful group of students and they continue to do amazing things,” said Deacon. “We have one show here, but our students enter art shows through other schools and avenues throughout the year.”
Portsmouth City School District not only has a high school art program, but a junior high art program as well. According to art teacher Suzie Keller, thirty pieces of art created by junior high students were on display.
“This is my second year working with April, just trying to set the kids up to be ready for an advanced course when they enter high school. It’s a lot of team collaboration,” said Keller. “Art gives the students that creativity and an outlet to decompress during the day. I can show them how they can use their art work in their other subjects and learn other concepts. Our focus is to look for students who do that have that artistic flair, so we can foster that to move on to scholarship and into professions. I’ve had the opportunity this nine weeks to have an art II program in junior high so it’s a big advance in our curriculum to be able to take those kids to the next level. I don’t think there are many schools in our area that rival the art that’s coming out of here.”
The art students also took time out of their show to recognize members of the school board and show their appreciation for them since January is board appreciation month.
Members of the Portsmouth City School District Board of Education include President Barb Gibson, Vice President Mary Sommer, Tom Smith, Dave Huffman and Mary Shields.
“They’re a pleasure to work with, they have our kids best interest at heart,” said Superintendent, Scott Dutey. “They’re a great group. They participate actively in events throughout our district, you see them everywhere, at programs, ball games, open houses, they have a sincere desire to see our students succeed and they’re very supportive of our teaching staff. I couldn’t do my job without them and their support. We’re very blessed to have them as board of education members.”
Reach Ciara Conley at 740-981-6977, Facebook “Ciara Conley - Daily Times,” and Twitter @PDT_Ciara.