Art and Soul is in its fourth year at Hayes Cooper and this year’s theme is “Don’t Stop Believing in the Arts at Hayes Cooper Center.”
“The format of Art and Soul has changed over these four years but our goal remains the same; provide the students of HCC with a variety of visual and performing art experiences despite limited funding in this area,” said Allyson Hardy, chair of the program.
Hardy explained this year’s Art and Soul Night would focus on a presentation and celebration of all that the students have done in their PACs (Preferred Art Club) classes.
Art and Soul Night will be on Friday at 6:30 p.m. at the Merigold Storm Shelter next to HCC.
The cost of admission is free and donations are welcome.
“All of the art created in the PACs will be on display and the stage performance will begin with a live auction of our large student-created art,” explained Hardy.
The auctioneers this year will be HCC parents Arnold Luciano and Aaron Lasker.
Hardy, Sherry Tubbs, Casey Andrews, Celeste Aguzzi, and student art teacher Amber Wolfe, and parents Courtney Dean and Mary Rizzo led the creation of collaborative art pieces.
The art pieces range from silk painting, watercolors, collage, fibre weaving, and painting.
Students will also perform for attendees in areas such as percussion, vocal, African drumming, and student produced iPad movies.
The PACs classes included culinary arts, photography, African drumming, shadow dance, voice, creative movement, mixed media, and much more.
Each PAC class met every Friday afternoon for one hour for five Fridays.
“Students seemed to enjoy focusing on a specialized area of the arts. This year we wanted to expand the idea of what we traditionally think of as the arts. Students use those creative thinking skills when making an iMovie, creating a new culinary dish, writing a script for shadow dance, designing a puppet, or doing a science project. We hope we inspired students in their particular area of interest and helped them to see how the arts touch so many areas of their life,” said Hardy.
Hardy went to say that schools are losing funding for arts programs and it is now more important to keep the arts strong in the lives of children.
“In this day and age of standardized testing and little funding for the arts, HCC continues to put a priority on finding a way to make the arts a part of their curriculum in order to give their students the enrichments in their education that only the arts provide,” said Hardy.
Through the past four years the Art and Soul program has grown and in their first year the program consisted of a talent show-like formant along with inviting local artists in to do collaborative large art. Each grade was given a famous artist, which inspired the artwork.
The second year the talent show and collaborative arts still continued and a silent acution was added with a stronger focus on individual student art inspired by the theme “Rollin’ on the river.”
The third year the program changed by having a presentation on a “grand stage” and a strong fundraising effort and gathering of the community support.
“This resulted in us being able to do a Broadway show with a school-wide cast of 170 students in ‘Alice in Wonderland’ on the BPAC stage. Again we asked local artists to help with large collaborative art that was for the first time auctioned at a live auction. It was very successful and as a result we have been able to pay artists to teach PAC classes,” said Hardy.
By having these artists come to the school and work with students, Hardy said students had the chance to choose a medium that interested them most.
“This year we wanted to give students the ability to choose the area of the arts that most interested them. We also wanted to give them smaller class sizes that enabled more one-on-one instruction. We have over 22 PACs with class sizes of 15 or less. Each PAC teacher was paid with funds raised by Art and Soul in previous years,” she explained.
Hardy said the Delta Arts Alliance helped in connecting with artists for the program.
“We appreciate the support of the DAA who helped us connect with local artists and for Rori Herbison who has taught our Marketing PAC,” she added.