“No Art Student Left Behind”

“Radio” Laura Johnson joined me for a visit to Ms. Lisa Connell’s 8th grade Art Class at HJ MacDonald Middle School to learn about a special community art project.

We enjoyed meeting the students, teacher, members of the Alpha Phi Nu Honor Society, and seeing Ben Watford, Michaele Rose Watson, and Mary Ann Horn, our Community Artist Will team members.

We hope you enjoy the video and photos from our visit. Please see the article about this special project written by Mary Ann Horn, Board member for Community Artist Will (CAW):

Local middle-schoolers will have a chance to interact with international honors students from Craven Community College this week as both groups meet for a paint-out on Friday (December 6). Under the direction of HJ MacDonald art teacher Lisa Connell, and with assistance from potters supplied by Community Artist Will, students will paint a whimsical array of large garden statuary which they may keep.

“CAW received a gift of high quality bisque ware from an anonymous donor,” says potter Ben Watford, “and in keeping with CAW’s mission to bring the arts to under-served folks, we found a service organization with a similar mission to help.”

Phi Theta Kappa president Elaine Rouse and Vice President of Service/Fundraising Melissa Villa decided CAW’s idea perfectly matched the society’s service theme this year. The group is based at Craven Community College and sponsors a yearly Honors in Action project. Phi Theta is comprised of the college’s top academics.

“We are very excited to be a part of this project, and we are thrilled to be working with ceramics faculty member Michaele Rose Watson and the other artists provided by CAW,” says Elaine Rouse.

Students will choose from a selection of frogs, lizards, mushrooms, and even fanciful tree people. The Honors Society has provided a grant for all paints, brushes and tools. Volunteer college students will guide the younger students in color harmony and brush techniques.

Melissa Villa says that plans call for the student artists and their works to be photographed and posted via CAW’s social media site. “And, if the kids are willing to part with their piece for a week or so, the works will be exhibited around town by area businesses. Or, of course, they could be Christmas gifts.”

Ben Watford says, “CAW plans to offer many more bisque ware paint-outs”. “Our donor provided us with thousands of dollars of statuary. So we’re planning many more days like this at senior residential facilities, the correctional facilities and other schools.”

CAW is a cooperatively-run incubator for the arts in Eastern North Carolina. It currently sponsors Bohemian Artists of New Bern, free ARTcrawls for emerging artists, and last Friday’s Random Acts of Artistic Kindness, a free artworks giveaway.

Find out more about CAW by visiting the Facebook page.

Tell us what you think by commenting below or sending us an email. Visit New Bern Now’s Facebook page or sign up for the latest updates by submitting your email address in the right margin on New Bern Now’s website.

Wendy Card