The Starkville Public Schools Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) had some art/writing contest deal for grades kindergarden through high school Monday February 25th with an awards ceremony was at 5:30 pm at the Greensboro Center. I believe the contest was called the Buzzy Arts. Five categories: Graphic design, drawing/painting, photography, poetry, and creative writing. Really nice event and great idea. Joseph entered all five categories with some pretty nice entries. He ended up winning first place in the first four and 2nd in the creative writing. Pretty cool. But, unfortunately, many of the kids in the SHS art classes did not participate. So, that was disappointing. Regardless, if you don't enter, you don't win! In fact, SHS art students not entering local competitions is not unusual. For some reason, students taking art at Starkville High rarely submit their work to local art events, nor do they seem to take advantage of attending the many and varied art exhibitions in our area. Conversely, the elementary and junior high classes typically participate in these events, and their teachers actually expect them to do so. I have judged student art shows at our local Cotton District Arts Festival and found the same thing. Entries from all elementary and middle schools, and entries from all area high schools except for Starkville High. Occasionally, some students not taking art there enter and also occasionally a few of the kids in the photography classes will enter on their own, but that is it. So, they don't get to participate and the public does not get to see the wonderful artwork that they do. I just don't understand what is happening over there. The students produce some nice works and typically have several students do well at the Mississippi Scholastic Awards each year with several students also typically receiving art scholarships each year. But, the lack of participation in anything else, especially at the local level, is mind boggling! A large reason artists create art is for people to see it, and we should do everything we can to encourage this, rather than discourage this. Not having high school art classes come to local exhibitions is equally disturbing. Viewing art by different and varied artists is eye opening to say the least, and talking with those artists is a unique opportunity that should not be missed. I have had local shows in our area in which I was requested by art teachers from some of our county schools, and even other county schools, to give talks to their classes. How cool is that? But, never from SHS. So many missed opportunities!! And, we have so many great shows here. I simply do not understand this. I wish somebody could explain this to me. Mississippi loves to hold itself back whenever possible it seems, and here is yet another example. Kudos to the ones who rebel and enter contests, show their art, and view the art of others! After all, what is art anyway, if not some sort of rebellion? Fuck the status quo. Be an artist. Be yourself.
|Joseph's Graphic Design entry (or part of it), the front cover for a CD of his own music.|