Art students within the Oxford School District start preparing for their careers early, and throughout the month of March, community members have the opportunity to view their work in an art exhibit at the Powerhouse.
The show will highlight the talents and abilities students in Pre-K through 12th grade. Works on display include ceramics, paintings, drawings, photographs, and graphic design pieces; some will be available for purchase, as well.
Teachers within the Oxford School District say they try to promote inspiration and confidence among their art students, providing them with the skills they need to succeed not only now, but also in their future endeavors.
“The students understand that this is a way of life. This is something that they’re passionate about, so they are not waiting until they graduate. They’re actually doing it now,” said Oxford High School art teacher Ebony Johnson, who teaches alongside her husband, Duran.
“Every student has their own individual path, and it’s our obligation to make sure we help them find success in that. So, for the art students, knowing that this is the path that they want, we owe it to them to force them into those technical skills and to really grow and mature them so they can be prepared beyond high school and validate them that you can have a career out of this,” said Ebony Johnson.
Several art students at Oxford High School are currently working as photographers, graphic designers, and painters in the community. Oxford Middle School art teacher Katrina Harris says they were put on the path to success at OMS.
“By the time they’re a senior in high school, they’re not just ready to move onto college, they’re focusing on their career. They know their strengths and their strong suits. And by them being able to sell their work while they’re here, that really gives them validation that ‘I really am an artist.’ ”
Many of the works that will be on display at the exhibit reflect social issues or the realities of being a teenager.
“My favorite thing about our art department is that, even if someone doesn’t understand your vision, you can prove it to them,express yourself on paper or a canvas,” said Khyan Freelon, 11th grade art student at Oxford High School. “My day-to-day life I see things that I have seen before, but now with a much more different approach and perspective.”
Judges from Briarcrest Christian School in Eads, Tennessee and Desoto Central High School in Southaven, Mississippi will determine the best works in each grade. Winners will receive trophies, medals and plaques.
The art exhibit will be on display to the public at the Powerhouse, March 5-30. In addition, the exhibit will be part of Art Crawl Night on March 27 from 6-8 p.m.
The Powerhouse is located at 413 S. 14th Street and is on the corner of S. 14th and University Ave.
Story contributed by Meek School of Journalism & New Media graduate student Pepper Taylor, email@example.com.