COVID-19 Impact on CFHS Art Department

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Annika Hardy, Staff Writer/Production Team Member

Due to the disastrous effects of COVID-19, students at Carolina Forest High School cannot participate in the ArtFields competition in Lake City, South Carolina. This event awards thousands of participants with $145,000 in cash prizes. In addition, they are not able to participate in the CFHS Spring Art Show. For seniors, the cancellations are incredibly heartbreaking. The students spend months creating artwork for these events. 

Other than missing the ArtFields competition, all of the students and faculty at CFHS look forward to our very own art show. The art show showcases pieces featuring creativity, originality, and technique. Artwork such as drawings, paintings, photography, and sculptures are shown to parents, students, and the staff. This is a terrific way for participants to gain praise and recognition on campus. 

Senior Hannah Ali is the president of the National Art Honor Society. She plans to major in art at Winthrop University. 

Ali states, “Obviously, I am sad that we cannot participate in both the ArtFields competition and the art show. Each year, I look forward to adding art to the show. I also love to see other student’s artwork and the personality behind their pieces. Despite the upsetting cancellations, I am happy that I got to know a group of nice and like-minded individuals.”

Mrs. Meghan Norris is a sponsor for The National Art Honor Society at CFHS. She is also disappointed about the cancellations of both ArtFields and the art show.

Norris comments, “At first, I was very disappointed. However, the art teachers are working on a virtual art show currently. I think this may be a blessing in disguise, as we may reach even more people virtually than we normally would at the school.”

Hunter Coriell is a high-achieving student at CFHS. She is also a member of the student council, The National Art Honor Society, The National Honor Society and The National Science Honor Society. Coriell is also a varsity cheerleader. In the fall, she will be attending Clemson University to major in biology and  hopes to pursue a career in medicine. 

Coriell comments about her experience on the live streams with Mrs. Norris. “I am so grateful for my live streams with Mrs. Norris. They have been a great way to motivate me to paint and relieve stress. When I am painting, I love that I have a great memory enjoying the process and the experience.”

Junior Tucker Richardson is a member of the NAHS Program. He is a high-achieving student at CFHS, as well as a brilliant artist.

Richardson adds, “Due to the cancellations of the art shows, I am losing an opportunity to be shown in local and state-wide areas as an artist. During this time, it is a struggle to find motivation and time to create artwork.”

It isn’t just the students who are missing the art classes and events.  

Mrs. Kristen Dutka is the department head for the Art Department at CFHS and also is a sponsor of the National Art Honor Society Program.

Dutka quotes, “This year, we had a great group of kids that were really motivated to work. I loved to see them work on clay and art show flyers together!”

Thomas Mendenhall adds, “I especially enjoyed our lunch meetings with the delicious food this year!”

Overall, despite the cancellations of ArtFields and the art show, the staff and students are anticipating a virtual art show at CFHS. All participants hope to highlight their hard work and original pieces. The students are optimistic about the future.