JCMS Student Takes Art Classes, Wins Contest

Local art classes provided an opportunity for Jackson County parents and students to bond, and it helped produce an art contest winner. In August, oil painting classes were held at Jackson County Middle School and McKee Elementary. After their artwork was created, participants were encouraged to enter their paintings in the local Jackson County Homecoming Fair and art contest.

Jackson County artist Wonda Hammons taught the art classes, which were sponsored by the Berea College Promise Neighborhood Initiative. Twenty parents and twenty students at each of the schools participated. Students and parents, in groups of two, attended a two-hour class each week for a four-week span, where every attendee created an original piece of art.

Aaron Bowles poses with his prize-winning artwork.

Beautiful works of art by parents and students were then displayed at the art contest at the Jackson County FairTen-year-old JCMS student Aaron Bowles won first place and best in show for his oil painting of an elaborate ocean scene displayed at the art exhibit. Aaron received two ribbons and was very proud of his accomplishments, but even more proud was Aaron’s mother, Melissa Wilson. Aaron and his mother, along with other parents and students of JCMS, enjoyed and appreciated the opportunity to be involved in these wonderful art classes and exhibits.

Participants will have the opportunity to visit the Kentucky Artisan Center in December to see Kentucky’s outstanding artisan products and listen to guest speakers from different institutions explain the options available to anyone interested in a degree in art.

The goals of these art projects are to bring families together, celebrate relationships, succeed in creating a unique piece of artwork, and emphasize the importance of college preparation and educational career choices. The Promise Neighborhood Initiative is planning future classes, too. A new class is beginning at Sand Gap Elementary, and classes will begin at Tyner Elementary, Jackson County High School and Annville Christian Academy in February or March. There will be four sessions per school and at least one session per month for up to twenty-four months. Promise Neighborhood will cover all costs for materials and instruction, with no cost to participants.