School News - Bridget Hanley
Intricately carved wooden boxes, a get well card made of recycled materials, unique mugs sold to raise mugs for Haiti, prayers flags to use for Saints Mission Day, and even remodeling Ms. Elkins art room. These are just a few projects from the club that formed last year that have allowed students of all identities to come together to make art, participate in meaningful service-learning opportunities, and now even gain a sports credit takes the name of Saints Mission Art, AKA, smART Team.
The club is characterized by Mr. Wade’s eye-catching promotions, the club’s beautiful group projects displayed around our community, and especially the passionate members raving about their recent field trip or piece of art. Through these interviews, I realized how important and special the team was to students as well as Mr. Wade, the club’s faculty advisor.
Adrienne Lei ‘21 told me about their carved box project that was displayed during the honor assembly. She said, “ I have not carved before smART team. Before carving the boxes, I had only done practice boards, so the junior and senior boxes were my first project. I enjoyed carving very much and had a lot of fun. Wood carving was a skill that I was interested in learning how to do, so I was really excited when Mr. Wade told us about the project for the honor ceremony.”
The students learn new tricky skills after school with the help of Mr. Wade and the support of their fellow students. When asked about how their works contribute to the community, Adrienne replied, “I think that it is cool that the boxes I made could be a part of the signing ceremony, and I liked being able to make something for the school community that is a part of students following the school mission and following the honor code. I hope that they will continue to be used by future generations of students and it is nice to know that what I made will be here even after I'm gone.” It is inspiring to see that their works will able to last years and years along with hopefully, the club itself.
Mr. Wade shared a heart-touching story about the club going outside of our community and affecting others' lives. Last spring, the smART team traveled to Sunrise Assisted Living to draw portraits of some of the elderly men and women living there. Only a few days after being there, Mr. Wade received sad news are shared the following email with the team: He wrote, “Sadly, one of the residents passed away yesterday. We knew him as "Mr. John." This morning while going through his belongings, John's wife saw Carlin's portrait of John. She was moved to tears and she wanted to say thank you to Carlin and the smART team for spending time with her husband. She will cherish the drawing forever.”
On a happier note, he also learned that, “Another resident's family came to visit last week and liked the portrait of her sister that Adrienne drew last week so much, that they got a frame for it and hung it in her room.” He concluded the email with, “I was asked to share these stories with you and let you know that the time we spend there each week is meaningful and extremely appreciated. + we get to work on our art skills! Go smART team, I am so grateful and proud of all your hard work.”
Members of smART team are encouraged to explore creativity in a realized, after school environment without the typical guidelines of any other art class. They are able to create works independently and collectively for their own enjoyment as well as the rest of the schools.
To conclude, the treasurer, Noelia Vargas ‘20 had to say, “ I love spending time with smART team and am really excited for our upcoming projects like making toys for the cats of King Street Cats.” And in the words of their loyal President Mary Adeline Stiers ‘20, “smART team is jhi lit, come join I’ m your president.”