LEWISTOWN - Students and faculty at Mifflin County Middle School are again organizing a community-wide evening of art appreciation.
The second annual "Night of the Arts" is scheduled to be held from 6 to 8 p.m. May 7 throughout the upstairs lobby, hallway and art classrooms at the school. Artwork, music, short films and six-word memoirs - all created by students - will be featured at the event.
Art teacher Cassie Campbell said the night grew out of an artist in residency program held last spring. Glass artist Linda Billet, of Hershey, visited the school in March 2013 and helped students create a 10-foot-tall mural to hang in the stairway between the cafeteria and upstairs lobby. The design is homage to the local rural and farming area, featuring farms, fields and waterways. Each piece of glass was hand-cut and crafted by the students.
Sentinel photo by JULIANNE?CAHILL
Ethan Kauffman, dressed as the ‘Knight of the Arts,’ will wear his handmade costume during the second annual Night of the Arts, set for 6 to 8 p.m. May 7 at Mifflin County Middle School in Lewistown. Kauffman will reveal an additional part of his costume during the event.
A planned dedication ceremony for the mural quickly grew into an event to feature every aspect of the school's visual and performing arts.
"That's what started the whole thing," Campbell said. "It has grown from that."
This year, Garry Price joined Campbell as a second art teacher at the school. He said he and music teacher Kathleen Becker started a film club for students.
There was so much interest in the club that students were separated into three groups - fall, winter and spring - to ensure that everyone had the opportunity to participate.
In small groups, students wrote and directed films 2 to 12 minutes in length, crafted sets and costumes and helped edit footage. The result is 12 videos that will be on display during Night of the Arts.
Campbell said students have created everything from signs designating walkways to paper flowers, still life, altered books, a paper quilt and more. Everything - including music and language arts work - will be on display.
After welcoming hundreds of guests to last year's event, Campbell said continuing Night of the Arts seemed natural.
"We have more ideas than we have time," she said, as students in her classroom worked to complete final preparations.
Campbell said Mifflin County Middle School was featured this spring by Perry County Council of the Arts in a video about last year's artist in residency program. The council, she said, sponsors the program in schools.
The video is available on the Mifflin County School District website or on the Perry County Council of the Arts YouTube channel.