Visual Arts surprises school board with gift


Ryann Daugherty

Visual arts students presented the school board with gift. Students were invited to attend at Jan. 23 meeting.

Marisa Green, Staff Writer

From academics to football, high school means something different to every student. On Jan. 23, Lovejoy Visual Arts (LJVA) students attended the school board meeting. A week prior to this meeting, they were each given a 3×13 inch paper and asked to depict their version of the district’s meaning. 

“Last year we had given the school board a drawing from [past student] Ella Reaugh, and this year we wanted to do something else,” art teacher and coordinator Brice McCasland said. “For me, the things that are most important for what we do as a program in my mind are things like this project. It was a clear picture of what Lovejoy was meant to be from the beginning. In this program, we celebrate people’s differences and teach independence. We treat our students with respect and challenge them, but do so alongside them.” 

The ribbons were presented in six frames with about five ribbons in each. Each ribbon was made in black and white. The final product given at the meeting had the ribbons in the shape of the red building, the district’s original schoolhouse founded in 1917 and current administrative building. 

“The school board is made up of elected officials that volunteer their time to essentially manage large programmatic decisions,” McCasland said. “After the school board hears information and looks at data, they make a decision that they think is best for the school itself, and it’s all voluntary. They don’t get paid and commit a lot of time. 

The LJVA brainstormed ways to appreciate the school board. McCasland shared the ribbon idea, acknowledging the diverse views of the district.

“My ribbon was a drawing of me at my club booth at leopard fridays GSA,” sophomore Dana Colston said. “I used the paper that [McCasland] cut out for us and used a micron pen. The school board was really excited, grateful and happy. Everyone on the board was really nice and welcoming.”

Students who participated were asked to join the board members at the meeting. About 25 students from LJVA came to the event. 

I thoroughly enjoyed spending dinner with the LJVA department and students,” board vice president Amy Smith said. “I was extremely touched by the meaningful art piece. Their thoughtfulness made me feel so appreciated. Getting a glimpse into the students’ lives through their incredible talent is humbling.”

After the students finished their individual ribbons, the gallery managers trimmed them and cut them out. They then grouped the pieces together based on palette density. 

“Once they grouped them, I came up on Saturday and mounted each ribbon individually onto a mounting board,” McCasland said. “The gallery people made a stencil of a kind of a redesign of the red school house. They cut the stencil out by hand, and laid it on top of the ribbons.”

The Board of Trustees comprises seven members. Each volunteer their time to make decisions involving the district. LJVA made the piece to appreciate the board and what it does for the district. The piece currently hangs in the school board vice president’s home office.  

“I think they seemed to really like them,” McCasland said. “They were incredibly grateful, and I think the imagery connected with them as much as the idea that Lovejoy is not just about making good art or test scores, it’s about this idea that we are trying to do a lot bigger things and have great people.”