Art can change the world. This is a sentiment many scholars and artists have come to agree upon over the centuries. There is something profoundly impactful about shapes and colors; making ordinary citizens feel extraordinary emotions. Who knew a lake could be reverent? A bird lonely? The particular glint of a statue’s grin relatable? Art is a subjective medium which is widely appreciated and valued. Yet, how do the artists at MHS become seen?
Choir, band, and orchestra kids are able to perform in concerts to show off their talents. However, art students had no such outlet, until Art 1.11 came to be. Art 1.11 was the creation of one of MHS’ art teachers, Bobbie Foy. It is an art performance that anyone can sign up for to demonstrate their artistic skills in front of an audience of friends, family, and teachers.
The event itself was free, but with a recommended donation of $1.11. I found this to be extremely clever, considering the event occurs on January 11th, and participants have 111 minutes to paint their work. Staff, students, and alumni joined in on the creative fun, turning in sketches to Mrs. Foy well before the actual event to show preparation and receive approval for their respective pieces.
The preparation showed, and as a spectator to the performance I was wowed within seconds of attendance. The sheer talent of our students at MHS intrigued and inspired me in equal measure. I interviewed Mrs. Foy for the teacher’s inside scoop! I inquired as to how she came up with the idea for an art performance. Foy responded, “It came to me in a dream. I knew that football players get to perform, the band performs, all the sports and theatrical groups perform, and I felt a need for artists to perform.” Foy believes art is valuable because “it is the thread in everybody’s life, it runs through everyone’s life.”
Next, I interviewed ninth grader Brielle Neimark, who explained she does Art 1.11 because she likes painting. Neimark supposes the purpose of Art 1.11 is “to help bring an art community together and allow for scholarship money to help other people grow.”
Eleventh grader Hayley Becker added her humorous position on signing up, “I’ve never done [Art 1.11] before, but I’ve always wanted to, and this year I finally remembered to sign up, so I’m happy that I finally remembered to do that this year!” After crossing the perilous journey of handwritten reminders and fading high school memory, it all paid off!
I thought it would be fascinating to interview an MHS alumnus, and Abby Fox was just the lady for the job. Fox delightedly explained why she does Art 1.11, “This is my fifth year, it’s just a lot of fun to me and I really enjoy doing it, knowing that some of these pieces get to be in people’s homes.” I also found this facet of the show intriguing; after the performance anyone can place bids on the art pieces and they are purchased for the highest prices. How cool is that!
Miss Wilson was also eager to put in her two cents about the art performance. “I think [the purpose of Art 1.11] is to give kids an opportunity to show their talents.” We certainly are lucky to have such talented young artists here at MHS. Underclassmen, consider signing up for Art 1.11 next year, we look forward to reporting on your creativity!