JACKSON, MI — The latest effort to decorate the halls of Northwest High School includes a new gallery of artwork submitted by its alumni.
The school recently held a gallery opening ceremony, with artists submitting their work to be displayed in the common area.
Julie Evers, an art teacher at Northwest High School, called for submissions for the art gallery, with a call for alumni of all ages to submit their favorite works.
Artist Sarah Parker, who graduated from Northwest in 2010, chose two pieces for submission to the gallery – a painting of a moon and a painting of a famous image produced by the Hubble telescope – because of her longtime fascination for space.
Having an alumni gallery, she says, provides a great way to expose students to artwork and artists beyond the classroom.
“I think it can encourage young artists as well – seeing how various alumni have continued their artistic practice after high school can be both encouraging and inspiring for students,” Parker said. “It proves that creative work is worthwhile and worth pursuing.”
Becca Gross, a 2013 Northwest graduate, submitted her piece “Under the Sea” to the gallery which was one of her favorites she created in college.
Gross said she thinks it’s great to see alumni connect with their school after graduating.
Northwest is like one big family, so I think it helps to see artists from your own district doing things with art,” Gross said. “It makes you feel like you can do it too.
“I hope this inspires other artists who always thought art was more than a hobby and an awareness for anyone who thinks art classes are just for fun.”
Although Amanda Hutchings acknowledges that the composite photograph she submitted for the gallery is a far cry from her work as president of Peak Manufacturing, she saw the project as an important art exhibition as a creative outlet, regardless your career.
Hutchings, a 2003 Northwest graduate, said she was raised by artists and art remained a big part of her life after making art a big priority in high school.
“I’m a creative person and Northwest provided me with a path where I could use and develop those abilities,” Hutchings said. “If I didn’t take my brush or my camera from time to time, I would get lost in the ordinary world of business. It also opens up areas of the brain that allow me to see the world of manufacturing in a different light.
After discovering a love of photography as a student at Northwest, Tiffany Cornwell, a graduate of the Class of 2006, went on to work in the medium as a senior portrait photographer in the Jackson area. Cornwell submitted three pieces for the gallery, her favorite being a photo of a Ferris wheel she took at the Jackson County Fair.
Cornwell said it was great to see work submitted by friends and acquaintances in a variety of different mediums.
“I feel like the arts are always overlooked, but in reality, the arts are in everything we consume,” Cornwell said. “…Being able to be an influencer in high school might not seem like a big deal to someone on the outside, but it could have a big impact on someone looking for what to do next after graduation.”
Northwest High School is still accepting submissions for the Alumni Gallery. For more information, contact Marnie Hade.
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