By Amie Sites Pharos-Tribune
---- — The second and final project to be funded through a special Cass County Community Foundation grant will result in an art gallery at Logansport High School.
The application for the art gallery was one of 34 proposals from Cass County charitable organizations. The art gallery and some updates to Plank Hill Park in Twelve Mile were chosen at the annual “Thanks for Giving” event by popular vote.
Matt Jones, Logansport High School principal, said they were appreciative of the community foundation and those who voted for the project.
The proposal from Logansport Community School Corp. was a collaborative effort among art teachers, Jones and Assistant Principal Lindsey Hagerty.
“There is no doubt art plays a big role in a lot of people’s lives,” Jones said. “We have a lot of talent in arts at the high school and the career center.”
In the proposal to the Cass County Community Foundation, it states Logansport administrators strive to meet the needs of the 50 percent free- and reduced-lunch population.
The proposal also includes statistics from the 2012 report from the National Endowment for the Arts. The research shows exposure to the arts helps free/reduced, or low-socioeconomic, students outperform free/reduced peers who aren’t exposed, Jones said.
There are 750 students, or 60 percent, enrolled in the art classes at the high school and career center, resulting in a limited space for student artwork to be displayed.
Some classes offered at the high school including drawing, painting, photography, ceramics, sculpture and jewelry making. The commercial arts class at the Century Career Center offers art and design and digital photography.
With the grant, the high school will partner with the Century Career Center building trades students to complete the construction work to use existing space to create a gallery to display student work.
“I’m always so impressed and amazed by some of the works out students produce annually,” Jones said. “We have so many talented artists walking the halls and we want them to have a nice, professional-looking space to present their work.”
Bryan Hole, art department chair, said the art gallery will help students display their work to their peers, parents and the community.
“We know most of our students never get a chance to go to an art gallery or a museum,” Hole said. “We want to give them that opportunity.”
Although administrators have a few potential areas in mind for the art gallery placement, it will be worked out with art teachers, students in building trades classes and the maintenance department, Jones said.
Deanna Crispen, president of the Cass County Community Foundation, was impressed with the level of research that was used for the project proposal.
“That was such a visionary type of project,” Crispen said. “The project is taking a space that is not being used, making it useful and students are taking ownership by building it.”
With the recent push in education toward testing and standards, Hole said he is happy to see the school corporation is also pushing electives.
“With the current push in education toward testing and standards, it’s nice to see that we’re also pushing electives and trying to keep that a part of our curriculum,” Hole said. “We’ve had a lot of interest in art and the support from our administrators to help our program grow.”
The gallery will also reach beyond Logansport Community School Corp., in to the county. Students from Pioneer, Lewis Cass and Caston, who attend the Century Career Center, will also be able to have artwork displayed.
“This project will impact a lot of kids,” Jones said. “It’s a community-based project and many students will have an opportunity to display their work.”
Amie Sites is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5117 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her: @PharosAES.