Last week, Oswego High School celebrated National Arts in Education Week, promoting the arts with performances and events throughout the week. The events of the week were organized by Visual Art Director Mr. Michael Skura.
The U.S. House of Representatives pronounced the second week of September as Arts in Education week in 2010. OHS has been celebrating the week with performances since 2012.
“The arts are something that can really foster and partner students in being that much better of a global citizen,” Skura said about why the week was important.
Math & Musical Monday
A presentation by artist Sean Zellmer in the auditorium started off the week on Monday. Zellmer is a self-taught computer programmer who uses math in his artwork. At the beginning of his presentation, he told the audience to go to a website, ljr.io/wake. The website is an interactive art piece. Whenever the people in the audience manipulated the moving piece on their phones, it would show up on the big screen in the auditorium. All of the students faces lit up as they played around with the live art.
One Book, One School Tuesday
On Tuesday, the staff and students discussed this year’s One Book One School title, A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park, in the LRC. Everyone who has read the book seemed to enjoy the discussion, bringing their thoughts and questions to the table.
Improv & Poetry Wednesday
Improv Performance Wednesday was celebrated with the drama and acting classes giving a performance in the auditorium. The students ran the show completely, and they were very eager to get a turn in the spotlight.
“Everybody did a great job, and I’m proud of all of us,” freshman drama student Victoria Trevino said.
There was also blackout poetry in the Writing Center on Wednesday. Students used pages from old books, made a poem out of some of the words, and used a marker to black out the rest of the page. Some even got artsy and drew a picture to go along with their poem.
The dance team and step team performed during lunch periods on Thursday.The dance team performed three duets and three group dances.
For the dance team’s last group performance, the team made a tribute to the late science teacher Ms. Nicole Larsen and coach Ms. Amanda Stanton. The tribute dance was choreographed by seniors Isabella Mahoney, Messina Paralore and Stephanie Guerra.
The tribute was very emotional, and definitely brought some people to tears. The song choice for the dance was a beautiful piece called “Saturn” by Sleeping At Last. The song described how precious and beautiful life is. With the song choice and the dancers gracefully moving across the stage, the piece was packed with emotion, and it was definitely the crowd’s favorite out of all the dances.
“The performance went really well” senior and dance team member Julia Dedic said. “I definitely loved performing the tribute dance today. It was really moving for all of the dancers.”
The step team also gave short, two-minute performances for the lunch rooms.The team came in with confidence, energetically screaming and stomping.
“We were all hyped and ready to get back out there,” Gonzalez said. “We prepared everything and thought about every single detail, but didn’t forget to also have fun with it…Overall, today’s performance was a success, and we are glad to be back ready to bring new and exciting things to the stage!”
Jazz Occurrence Friday
Painter Lewis Achenbach ended the week with a live painting performance. Playing along with him was the jazz band Achenbach travels with. The jazz band played as Achenbach painted with the beat.
During Achenbach’s performance, he created abstract paintings in time with the music. Short and loud notes usually corresponded to fast paint splatters, and long and soft notes resulted in longer dripping marks. At one point, a saxophonist played a downward scale, and Lewis painted sharp red X’s going down the right side of the canvas.
Students seemed to enjoy his performance, along with the others that happened throughout the week. The week really secured the importance of the arts in our school.
“The main point is that art is not something that is extra or extracurricular,” Skura said. “Art is something that is core to who we are as people.”