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Creativity for a Cause

Art Heals: The Senior Perspective – May 14, 2021 

Our Visual Arts Department hosted Arts Heals: The Senior Perspective on May 7th. During the creative event, the sidewalk outside of our school was transformed with color, creativity, and meaning as our senior artists created unique chalk murals on the theme of resilience, showcasing how art heals. The weather cooperated, and our students and faculty were also able to view the finished artwork.

The Art Heals event was open to all seniors, not just those taking an art class. It served as an in-school field trip for 143 seniors and a formative assessment for those enrolled in Honors Art School Prep and Senior Art Studio. Non-art students had to preregister to reserve their chalk and 3'x3' square space to create their masterpiece. All students had to submit a concept for review before participating. The creative process from concept sketches through to the final chalk murals emphasized resilience and the healing power of art. Robin Brown, LICSW, a Mental Health Counselor in our School Based Health Center, also spoke with the art classes about the importance of mental health and creativity.

Isabella Pimentel of Uxbridge, a senior in our Painting & Design Technology program, enjoyed participating in the Art Heals fundraiser. As she worked on a blue chalk circle, said, "I had many different ideas, but the concept of human connection and the healing power of earth was something I wanted to explore. Each day in this world is a new day to learn, grow, and be resilient. When I'm having a tough day, I go outside to feel the sun on my skin. It brings me peace. I hope my artwork inspires others."

Our Visual Arts instructors empower students to make a difference by using their creative voices in their artwork. "We are immensely proud of our seniors who used their creativity for a cause by participating in the event to build awareness and support for teen suicide prevention," said Visual Arts instructors Ashley Maclure and Kelly Garabadian. "A big thank you to everyone who helped make the event a success, from our staff chaperones, our alumni mentor, and of course, our generous sponsors. The event raised over seven hundred dollars with all proceeds to benefit the mission of the National Center for the Prevention of Youth Suicide."

Our visiting artist, Arielle Gordon, a 2017 graduate of BVT, a senior in her last semester at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston had an opportunity to provide insight while viewing the artwork of Ava Lanoue of Blackstone, a senior in the Business & Entrepreneurship program. Gordon noticed Ava's shoes placed at the top of her workspace appeared as if they were ready to walk down the path of her mural. The accidental placement was a nice touch to her multimedia masterpiece. Gordon said, "It is exciting to see a thriving Art program with so many students engaged in creating meaningful Artwork."

The event was supported in part by grants from the Cummings School Service Fund, the Blackstone, Millville, Northbridge, and Upton Cultural Councils, local agencies supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.