Students complete downtown

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 29, 1999

mural, raise funds for art trip


Features Editor

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Nov. 28, 1999 7 PM

The students in Pam Smith’s advanced art classes at Charles Henderson High School are painting the town, literally.

Smith’s students are the creators of several murals in downtown Troy and have been recognized nationally and internationally for their Service Learning projects.

They have presented their projects in Europe and most recently in California. Now, they have been invited to present their mural projects at a Service Learning conference in Providence, Rhode Island in March.

"This is another wonderful opportunity for our students to participate in a Service Learning conference and to visit another section of our country," Smith said. "We are honored to have been invited and are excited about the opportunity."

The CHHS mural projects are outstanding examples of how Service Learning and the arts can work together in a community.

"The murals give the students an opportunity to be a part of the downtown beautification project and, at the same time, it gives them an opportunity to work on an art project individually and as a cooperative effort. The students learn from the experience and the community benefits from their work."

The mural project instills pride in the students – pride in their work and in their community.

"And people in the community see that our young people can make purposeful and lasting contributions to their city," Smith said. "Service Learning is a win-win situation."

The 1999-2000 advanced art students recently completed a mural for The Pines restaurant on the square in downtown Troy.

In keeping with the atmosphere of the restaurant, they chose to reproduce Vincent Van Gogh’s The Cafe Terrace, Arles at Night (1888).

"We looked at several paintings but the students liked the Van Gogh because of its strong, bright colors," Smith said. "It is eye-catching and really brightened the corner."

In order to help raise funds for their trip, which are estimated at $700 each, the students will be involved in a mural project at Charles Henderson Child Health Center and will also be selling designer all-occasion cards featuring their own art work and photographs.

The cards are priced at $11 for a pack of 10 and are available by calling the high school office at 566-3510 or from any member of the advanced art class or Smith.

"The cards will make nice Christmas gifts and will also support our fundraising efforts," Smith said. "The five-day trip will include a stopover in Boston so the students can visit the sites of this historic city. We hope everyone will be generous in supporting our fundraiser as we work toward this trip. We appreciate the interest and support of our community. Everyone has been great."