GREENSBORO, NC (WGHP) — High School Seniors are getting ready to graduate. When they do they will be taking with them some great memories of their time in high school.
But one group of students from Weaver Academy in Greensboro has a very special memory that they can place on their resume. Their artwork is on display at the Center for Visual Artists in Greensboro. The art gallery typically shows the work of professional artists who are looking to make a name for themselves.
For these students to be able to have theirs works of art on display in the gallery, is an opportunity they say they could only dream of. Senior Mira Sowinski said she felt it was “very weird because we make it, we hang it up and we’re part of the entire process. And then we see it at the end, and it looked an our exhibit anywhere. Like with famous people like Van Gogh. It’s hanging up on a wall and people are watching it and it’s very weird. It feels really good.”
It was made possible by their art teacher, Kelsey Gagnon-Mathews. “This is actually my fourth year at Weaver. So, this senior class is very important to me because it’s my first group. That’s gone from freshman all the way through senior year.”
And they survived the covid pandemic together, where she became her students’ biggest cheerleader.
“Mrs. Gagnon is amazing with that kind of stuff,” said senior Zainab Adamou-Mohamed. “She’s listened to me talk about all my fears, and anxieties about deciding what my major was gonna be. She and Mr. Kozart, our other art teacher were very significant figures in making design and art-related jobs a reality because it can be scary to go into an art major or career. They make it seem so much easier, giving us the resources we need, the advice we need and the encouragement we need to pursue our dreams.”
Leah Travis agrees. “She has helped me so much with the college process, trying to find scholarships, what schools are the best, what’s gonna be best for the program you want to go into along with like extracurricular stuff. She’s given us plenty of opportunities for volunteer, work, internships, like anything like that.”
Part of that process was putting together a portfolio of their work for their AP art final and college admissions.
She treats her classroom like a working art studio. So, when it was time to display the students’ work, she made sure that was a learning experience too.
“It was really important for me to make sure that they were involved in all aspects,” says Gagnon-Mathews. “So obviously they made the work. We prepared the work and then they came with us. We went on a walking field trip, we hung the artwork. We had lunch together, all of these seniors who have been together for four years. It has just been a really full circle moment for them. Being able to see their family and friends, especially after a couple of years of COVID and not having as many school events to see their work, come and celebrate them was really full circle.”
It’s an event they will remember for a long time.