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Trojan Art Day exposes variety of styles to middle, high school students

February 15, 2019

For the sixth year, Alabama middle and high school students shared their talents Friday at Trojan Art Day on Troy University’s Troy Campus.

Trojan Art Day offers workshops and demonstrations led by students and faculty in the University’s Department of Art and Design.

“It’s one of the first opportunities for these students to meet the faculty, and if they’re curious about coming into an art program, this is great way to come in, meet faculty, do a workshop and see what happens,” said Pam Allen, Chair of the Department of Art and Design. “There’s competition involved, but also camaraderie and a kinship of sorts. A lot of times there are not these types of opportunities for art students.”

Northview High School student Somuri PukVan participates in progressive drawing during Trojan Art Day at the Troy University Campus on Friday, February 15, 2019.

Northview High School student Somuri PukVan participates in progressive drawing during Trojan Art Day.

Among the day’s events was a team chalk drawing competition between schools.

“It was definitely an opportunity to do some fun stuff,” said Caleb Abner, a Northview High School junior. “We worked on a chalk portrait of Snow White in the style of the art piece ‘The Son of Man,’ and that’s been fun.”

For Enterprise High School senior Dream Beasley, the event marked an opportunity to express her love of the arts.

“I’m in art club and I didn’t get to go last year, because I was spooked and also didn’t have the time to do it,” Beasley said between projects. “I’m excited (about) the free liberties – I can do whatever I want, as I want it to be. I can do mixed media, painting or pencil sketches, and it comes out great. I’m more of a sketch artist, (so) I prefer pencil and paper. But with art, you really don’t have to be good at it, just so long as you enjoy it.”

Northview senior Jarman Debose doesn’t consider himself a great artist, but he loves participating in projects like Trojan Art Day and learning from those around him.

“I came because I really like art, I’m just not too good at it, so I’m trying to take as much inspiration from other people as possible,” Debose said. “Seeing all the unique ways and art styles that people have, and how they’re not at all the same, it’s intriguing. I also plan on visiting the (International Arts Center) here at Troy.”

For some students, the day was further preparation for their future goals.

“What first got me into the arts was cartoons,” Abner said. “Growing up, I liked the way they looked and figured I wanted to do something like that someday. I figured out I was only good at sketches, but that hasn’t stopped me from trying to learn as much as I can. I’m hoping if I do go to a school like (TROY), I will improve further and possible get a career in animation or become a cartoonist.”

Debose has identified areas of improvement in his drawing, and he left the event inspired.

“As of right now, I want to get better at drawing specific stuff like nature,” he said. “I want to draw more agricultural stuff, the way the environment blends together. What I love about art is you can help inspire other people, if someone doesn’t realize they can delve into the arts. You might struggle at first, but you’ll get there.”

The day ended with the District II Visual Arts Achievement Program awards ceremony, the conclusion to an art competition sponsored by the Alabama State Council on the Arts.

A photo gallery from the event can be found here.