Art Day encourages students to practice creativity

(PHOTO/ Rojan Maharjan) Art Day invited middle schoolers and high schoolers to try out different methods of creating art. Above, Latham Girona, a ninth grader from Smiths Station Freshman Center, draws on the sidewalk with chalk for Art Day.
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Asem Abdelfattah

Assistant News Editor

The Troy Art Department hosted Trojan Art Day as a part of the Visual Arts Achievement Program to get middle and high school students to experience different art forms while learning about Troy. 

Dr. Kelly Berwager, an art education lecturer and visual arts coordinator from Birmingham, said Trojan Art Day is a fun way for potential art students to experience Troy.

“Trojan Art Day gives high and middle school students exposure to Troy University and our art program,” Berwager said. “These students could be future Trojans and artists. 

“Today also gives us an opportunity to teach what we may not be able to teach in class and have a little fun with it, too.” 

Berwager said students submit their best art for a competition that could qualify them to a state and national level contest.

“As part of the Visual Arts Achievement Program, middle and high school students from our district submit their best art work in seven categories,” Berwager said. “We choose the first place that goes to a state level competition and then to nationals.”

Maggie Coyle, a junior high school student from Enterprise and a participant in Trojan Art Day, said Trojan Art Day is a way for self-expression through different art mediums.

“There are different competitions that I participated in,” Coyle said. “I’m currently doing a parody of a famous painting using chalk on a sidewalk, which is very neat. 

“Today is a cool way to express ourselves through art where we get to use their mediums and show other schools our talents.”

Allison Riley, a senior fine arts major from Dothan and a volunteer at Trojan Art Day, said Trojan Art Day gives students a chance to get firsthand college experience that could help them make important career decisions.

“More than 300 students from our region get to experience different art forms like drawing, screen printing, sculpting, clay throwing, weaving, calligraphy, rock painting and more,” Riley said. “It also gives them a chance to experience what college is and talk to art majors at Troy.

“I didn’t go to Trojan Art Day when I was in high school and it took me a long time to decide to be an art major, so I think it helps people on the fence make an important decision about their career.”

Jamarion Whatley, an eighth-grade student from Georgiana and a participant at Trojan Art Day, said he enjoyed the day. 

“I loved painting today because it brings out the creative side in me,” Whatley said. “I’m also having a lot of fun!”

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