The Rocket Flame

Benches for the Community

Benches+for+the+Community

Some students from the James Buchanan High School Art Club recently took on a new project to give people a colorful place to sit in the Mercersburg community. 

The Art Club was given the task by Dr. Elizabeth A. George, who is working alongside the The Mercersburg Area Council for Wellness and many others, to paint benches for a local trail in Mercersburg. The project includes four benches from James Buchanan, as well as four from the Mercersburg Academy. The benches were fabricated by Kyle Burdette of Burdette Ironworks in Mercersburg. Painting the benches allows the students to show their painting skills to a larger group of people other than just students at the school.

Kyla Shoemaker (11) a member of the Art Club, has taken on one of the benches by herself to benefit the community. 

“I’m painting a nature scene with local wildlife from the area, such as different types of trout and frogs” said Shoemaker. “I volunteered to paint the benches so that I could show my art and to give joy to the community.” 

Shoemaker spends a lot of her free time down in the art room working on the benches so that they will be done for the public by spring so that people can enjoy them when they start to go outside more.

“I’ve been working on the bench for almost six and a half hours already and I think it might take me up to eight by the time I am done with it,” Shoemaker said. 

There are a total of 13 students working in four groups on the benches. The project is entirely done by students like Shoemaker, with a little guidance from Mrs.Kayla Chambers-Matulevich (Faculty), the Art Club teacher and advisor at JBHS. The main goal was to illustrate local plants and animals.

“It’s mostly the students doing everything by themselves,” Chambers-Matulevich said. “The only thing I asked is that they do local wildlife to showcase local flora and fauna.”

Chambers-Matulevich, also thinks that the benches are a new and creative way for the students to demonstrate their talents to the community as a whole.

“When I was contacted, I thought it was a great project for the community,” said Chambers-Matulevich. “It’s a nice way to show the students’ talent and ability to people in the area.”

The students started painting the benches around the first week of February and are hoping to have them done by mid-March, so that everyone can enjoy them for the spring and summer months to come. The benches will be located at the Johnston’s Run trail on Oregon Street in Mercersburg once completed. The trail is open to anyone everyday of the week and is also handicap accessible.

Paint Party: Pumpkin Edition

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To add to the peacock on her pumpkin, Trinity Myers (12) adds feathers to emphasize the birds most noticeable trait.

A chilly autumn breeze blows an ombre of orange, red, and yellow leaves across the grass. Anywhere you go, you are bound to smell a mixture of cinnamon and pumpkin. Porches are decorated with scarecrows, leaves, and pumpkins just waiting to be decorating. Following along with the seasons holidays and traditions, James Buchanan’s Art Club gathered up pumpkins to decorate for fall.

 

Club members got together to decorate pumpkins after school on Thursday, Oct. 25. Some members did a classic jack o’lantern face, while some others branched out to do anything from a monogram of their initials to a peacock with feathers.

For a while, the Art Club has not done any parties that have to do with making art; the events have usually been

While Maggie Strawoet (12) shares a laugh with members of her table, Lizzie Pittman (12) centers her attention on painting her monogram on her pumpkin.

centered around food and activities, such as Secret Santa or tea parties. This year, however, the club is trying to change that.

 

“Normally, our regular Halloween parties are just a breakfast during Activity Period,” said Vice President Maggie Strawoet (12), “so we wanted to do something more elaborate and artsy since this year we are really trying to change up Art Club and do more art instead of just parties.”

The Art Club advisor, Mrs. Kayla Chambers-Matulevich (Faculty), really wants the members’ creations to do more for the school. Whether it is made with a group or individually, Chambers-Matulevich thinks that art should be able to hang around the school and make a lasting impact. To do this, the club needs to step out of its old habits of throwing parties centered around socializing.

 

“Art club should make art. We should be making art, not wasting time. It’s not a socialization club, it’s an art club,” said Chambers-Matulevich.

 

While getting more art out into the school is a main goal of the club, they also hope to raise community awareness of the art being created inside room 305.

As Olivia Harmon (12) paints a haunted house against a nights sky on her pumpkin, she shares a laugh with Amber Clark (12) who paints a scary face on her pumpkin.

“We want to host paint nights for everyone to come, not just for the school, but [for] the community,” said President Lizzie Pittman (12). “Also, we want to do something at the Mercersburg tree lighting ceremony to get the little kids involved.”

 

Taking their first step towards this new goal for themselves, the members have taken to decorating pumpkins. Whether they painted something scary or sweet, or if they used different 3D elements to enhance their designs, the members put their own spin on their pumpkins.

 

“I made a peacock pumpkin,” said Trinity Myers (12). “I thought it would be really fun to use blues and greens. I actually put feathers in the back to make a tail, because peacocks have big tails. Then,…I made a beak out of orange

paper.”

 

With a new aspiration and a motivation to get there, James Buchanan’s Art Club is working towards becoming more involved with supplying art to the school and community.

Ladle Full of Creativity

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Caroline Zimmerman, 9, starts shaping her bowl on the wheel. Photo by Madison Dorsey.

James Buchanan High School’s Art Club is molding the communities outlook on them one ceramic piece at a time.

Art club is not just the club that stores unique works of art in the display cases around the school; they are making a difference in the community with their upcoming Soup Bowl Fundraiser.

The group based out of room 301 spends their spare time making hand-crafted pottery bowls to sell with a variety of soups to the people who attend the fundraising event in the JBHS cafeteria on December 15th.

 

“All the bowls are $10 each, and you can have as many bowls of soup as you want,” explained , Lizzie Pittman, 11, Art Club President.

 

The function is occurring to generate money for the club’s expenses, but the unused money goes to a worthy and local charity.

 

Advisor Mrs. Kayla Chambers-Matulevich, Faculty, said, “The first year we did it, we made, I’d like to say, closer to two grand. Maybe not quite that much, but we ended up donating over eight-hundred dollars to Saint Thomas Tiger Totes, and that is what I’d like to do again.”

 

Tiger Totes is ran through the St. Thomas Elementary School, and they send home food for the less-fortunate kids every Friday. The school does this so the children can eat over the weekend. Art Club donates money to the organization to help feed more families.

The bowls are not just something that you could easily pick up in a store, but they are created differently depending on the artist who crafts them.

Using a tool, Trinity Myers, 11, carves designs into her bowl. Photo by Madison Dorsey

“I like putting my own creative twist into everything, so it’s like it’s my own work,” said Sydni Ressler, 12.  

 

Alongside the bowls, other items are made from clay to be sold in order to produce more funds for the club and their club trip.

 

Ressler stated, “Some of us just don’t just make bowls, we also can make mugs or little ornaments.”

 

The soup bowl fundraiser will be happening on December 155h, and the club members are already adding their flare to their pieces to sell in the school’s cafeteria to financially support themselves and assist others.

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