By Natassia Aleman-Teweles, Clarion Business Manager
March 2017 was a month of promoting art and art education in the United States; over a thousand schools participated including Kennedy.
To top off the month-long promotions John F. Kennedy High School held an art assembly for all the art students on March 24. The event began when students were welcomed into the auditorium by a brief performance by the drumline and the MC, Kennedy senior Jaquari Smith. After the drumline departed, Jaquari introduced the jazz band. The group played with this cool calm vibe that made it seem like they’ve been doing it for years. Next, the brass ensemble appeared and provided an energetic performance led by Antonio Novoa-Castillo, a junior. When the brass ensemble finished their set, a video featuring 22 JFK art students shared on camera what art means to them. After the video, the concert band returned to deliver an amazing performance to conclude the assembly.
During the performances, on one side of the auditorium, murals were painted live by students throughout the period. One of the murals was a picture of John F. Kennedy with a speech bubble saying “Youth Art Month”; the students worked very hard to finish before the 4th period assembly ended.
The paintings are currently on display in the auditorium.
This was the first time an assembly like this was held at Kennedy. Art instructor Mary Lou Hanzlik shared with The Clarion, “There were a lot of details that had to be planned and having to learn how to work the audio equipment.”
Students could view art all around the campus. Art students drew with chalk on the walkways around the school. Art instructor Mrs. Kelly Graves’ classes did a body tracing in class project in the style of Keith Haring to support the pop art theme. Mrs. Hanzlik appeared eager to hold the event again, “I think it was really well received. Next year we will include the choir and drama. Hopefully we can open it up to more classes since it went well this year.”
A couple students who participated on the Kennedy and Cougar mural were asked some questions on what it was like to participate in the Youth Art Month assembly and work with the other students.
Sage Yang, a senior at Kennedy said, “Having the chance to participate in my school’s first [sic] youth art month assembly was very fun. I enjoyed working on both murals and one thing I liked about working with others was that you got a taste of everyone’s artistic ability and their own style.”
Lashia Ly, another senior, shared, “For me I did a lot of preparation for the actual mural itself beforehand. But the actual painting of the mural was fun. With the lights shining on us we didn’t really see the crowd so it didn’t matter much plus there were a lot of people up there painting alongside me so that helped it not be so weird.”
All photos by Alex Ng, Clarion Chief Photographer