Student art celebrated


Andrew Spaulding

Junior Nora Dunnigan says she likes figure studies and sketching people’s faces.

Visual artworks created by Concord High School students have been showcased in recent weeks throughout the school to commemorate Youth Art Month.

Every year during March, student art is showcased in schools around the country, celebrating creativity and ingenuity in visual art programs.

Youth Art Month coincides with Music In Our Schools Month. Music students at CHS celebrated that with concerts at Capitol Center for the Arts March 21-24.

CHS artists all had some type of inspiration for their creations (beyond classroom assignments).

Senior Fatima Ejam created a donkey out of wire.

Fatima Ejam’s wire horse (Daisy LaPlante)

“I made a donkey inspired by my country, and making it gives me hope to go back and see it one more time, and be happy riding a donkey again,” she said.

Becca Quimpo, another senior, made a human scale heart out of cardboard.

Quimpo, who intends to become an art teacher, said she has known from a young age that she wanted to create. ”Honestly, when I was younger, it was music. But then I realized I don’t really have the personality to have a career in music. I like my space from people, so I felt like art was a better path for me. And I’ve always been interested in creating things.” 

Becca Quimpo’s cardboard heart (Mia Costello )

Looking at art on display, people might not think how much work went into each piece. 

Senior Hannah Perry described the lengthy process of sculpting a succulent plant. “I had to make a base on the sculpture. I had to take lots of clay to throw on the wheel, that generally takes a class period.” 

“You have to wait for it to dry because if you try to correct the shape when it’s too wet, it will completely fall apart,” she continued.

“Once that was dry I went back to correct any little details that I needed to fix. With the cactus part I made a base and crushed clay to make a dirt texture, which was the first time I had done that. I had to build up the actual cactus part, so I just rolled clay. For the spines I took toothpicks and cut them into quarters.”

Student art on display in the main lobby

Even pieces of art that are simpler in design take considerable time to make. Ejam said her wire donkey “took me about 2-3 class periods, so just about 4 hours of work.” To spend that much time bending, cutting and shaping wires is an impressive feat. 

The art department at Concord High offers numerous art classes for students to take. Some students take as many as they can.

“I’m taking four art classes this year,” Quimpo said. “Graphic design, sculpture. I’ve taken photography. I’m doing metalworking.”

Junior Matt Hooper has also made regular room in his schedule for art. “I’ve always been into art and trying to get better at it. So yeah, Color and Design is probably just a good choice to take. And it’s a fun class.” 

Color and Design is a prerequisite for some other art classes, as explained in the online 2022-2023 Program of Studies. Detailed course descriptions are provided for each course.

Lily Hillsgrove, a junior, said students who are interested in art should pursue those classes even if friends are signing up for other types of experiences. “If it’s what you’re interested in, then don’t let anybody take you away from it. It’s who you are. So always do it.” 

Starting to make art can be difficult, but everyone improves over time, said junior Nora Dunigan. “I’d say, obviously, try and find inspiration, and practice is the most important because you don’t really need talent to be good at art. You just need practice.”

Dunigan said she really enjoys working with clay “because it’s kind of a cool, like three dimensional thing. It’s very easy to mold sometimes. So there’s a lot you can do with it.”

Mia Costello

“I also really like gouache,” she said. “It it feels like using acrylics, but it kind of works like watercolors.

Before the pandemic, CHS art teachers mounted a larger show at the Steeplegate Mall, showcasing art from grades K-12.  “This year is a little different for reasons I’m sure we’re all familiar with at this point,” said Erika Dietsch.

She and fellow art teachers Jeff Fullam and Erin Martin hung student works on Main Street, near the front office, and in the art wing in mid-March, choosing from creations in Drawing and Painting, Photography, Ceramics, Sculpture, Color and Design, and Interior Design.