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Art drawn from text

North Colonie Art and English departments join together to expand minds of students

Students’ works were on display at Shaker High School on Thursday, Oct. 20, to celebrate “The Big Draw,” a month-long national celebration for drawing, and National Day on Writing. Several students produced pieces of art from workshops such as the Computer Graphics, Self Portraits and Digital Photography.

Students’ works were on display at Shaker High School on Thursday, Oct. 20, to celebrate “The Big Draw,” a month-long national celebration for drawing, and National Day on Writing. Several students produced pieces of art from workshops such as the Computer Graphics, Self Portraits and Digital Photography. Photo by Andrew Beam.

— Shaker High School combined two celebrations and rolled them into one on Thursday, Oct. 20, when the English Department and the Art Department held a joint event that displayed art created by students based off of text they had read.

The month of October is “The Big Draw,” a festival for the Campaign for Drawing, which the North Colonie Central School District is a part of, and on Thursday it coincided with the National Day on Writing. Beth Bonville, supervisor of the English Department, and Anne Manzella, supervisor of the Art Department, decided to collaborate and combine the two by tapping into their students’ creative sides.

A series of workshops were held where the students produced several pieces of art. Workshops like Advertising in the Film Industry had students trying to create movie posters with an image of the front of the school.

“They are given stars and cast they can use and they can do a romance or action,” said Bonville. “They were given a couple of little things but then had to create their own movie by creating a movie poster.”

Some of the other workshops were called Fantasy Character Creation, Humorous Writing: Even If You’re Not Funny, Poetry Cut Up and Signed, Sealed and Delivered. There was also Life In Lyrics, which allowed students to take some of their favorite lyrics of a song, mix it in with their own writing and then produce a drawing based off of the lyrics.

Bonville said doing this type of collaboration is quite natural, as both art and English are considered fine arts. She also said that most of the time when a person is reading a book, a poem or even reading through lyrics, an image can appear in their head.

“There are photographs or images we get in our minds when reading a novel or a short story,” Bonville said. “I think it is a perfect marriage of the two. We were picturing mixing the pieces from Ann’s department and the National Day on Writing. We’re trying to bring the two together.”

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