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Fayetteville High School art students are using photography as a tool, thanks to a recent grant their art teacher attained, some lessons in photography from a local talent, and a hometown approach that gives them a unique perspective.
In early September, FJHS art teacher Jeannie Roles-Walter received two cameras with memory cards and tripods via the donorschoose.org grant website for her students to learn simple photographic elements.
Roles-Walters’ Art 3 students then went on a field trip to the Fayetteville square, where they met with photographer Heather Clemons at her studio for a crash course in photography.
“Heather gave the students tips on taking photographs from a unique perspective and described the business side of photography to them,” said Roles-Walter. “The students had many great questions and learned a myriad of information during their short visit with her.”
Next, students broke off into groups and walked around the square, trying to capture iconic images representing Lincoln County with their cameras. The images were printed at school, and students selected the photos that were most interesting to them to paint.
Art 2 students at the school selected images to paint as well.
“The second part of this assignment was to study ‘old’ Lincoln County and paint iconic images from the past, an idea suggested by Fayetteville Mayor John Underwood,” the art teacher continued. “Students selected images they thought were most remarkable to tell the story of their town’s past.”
Eugene Ham, a local historian and educator, was then invited to come and speak to the students about their selected images – “The students were completely engaged by Mr. Ham’s unique personality and wonderfully charming storytelling capability,” said Roles-Walter. “Mr. Ham held the photograph references, that the students were working from, up one by one and asked who was painting the image. Then he went on talk about that particular photograph, the era it in which it was taken, and the story it had to tell.
“This ‘hometown’ project took a great deal of planning and careful preparation, and the results it yielded are amazing,” she said. “I cannot wait for the community to view these fabulous works of art. They definitely tell the story of our hometown, one that I am very, very proud of!”
The original works will be available for viewing, with prints available for purchase, during the FHS Annual Art Show and Auction to be held Wednesday, May 8, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the school’s cafeteria. For more information, contact Roles-Walter at firstname.lastname@example.org.