Student photos part of state celebration

Photographs by a handful of current and former Jennings County High School students have been selected for a state display project as part of Indiana’s bicentennial celebration.

Images taken by graduates Nick Treadway, Kassi Whitehead and Kathryn Wathen and current students Santana Tyler and Kaitlyn Lord are on display in Butler University’s Clowes Memorial Hall and will remain on display there for the a year.

The project is an effort of Arts for Learning, an organization that helps children achieve their creative and intellectual potential through arts in education. It hosted a series of Hoosier Pride and Cultural Legacy workshops at high schools across the state, intended to have students explore their cultural heritage in Indiana. Hoosier artist William Rasdell helped students create digital images.

Arts for Learning teamed with the Hoosier Writing Project to sponsor an essay contest for fourth-graders about Indiana history. Rasdell then used 22 images from high-school students statewide and essays from the elementary students to create a collaborative artwork for display in Clowes Memorial Hall.

The finished product, which stands 40 feet high, was unveiled Aug. 4.

A select number of Jennings County High School attendees contributed their photographs to the project alongside, and five had their work accepted.

“I was really honored and shocked,” Treadway said. “I didn’t know they were only using a few of the photos submitted.”

Once the curtain dropped at the unveiling, a brief silence filled the air in Clowes Memorial Hall, followed by the sound of many hands clapping and a brief photo opportunity with the students and teachers involved in the masterpiece.

“It looks great,” Treadway said after the work was revealed. “Being here with other artists who did a great job has definitely boosted my confidence and made me feel better about my skills and what I can do.”

It was a joy to be able to feel the aura of admiration surrounding the artists and their work. The recognition was well deserved for each and every hardworking and passionate individual involved.

If you get the chance, stop by the Clowes Memorial Hall at Butler University between now and the summer of 2017 to check out the impressive collage of student work.