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.

Showcasing Our Students Art: Ensemble of the Arts

During+Ensemble+of+the+Arts%2C+there+was+artwork+accepted+from+all+of+the+schools+in+the+district.

During Ensemble of the Arts, there was artwork accepted from all of the schools in the district.

The end of the school year is quickly approaching, and with it comes many annual events, such as Arts in Action. Arts in Action has been a tradition in the district for several years, but this year it is being replaced by a new event: Ensemble of the Arts.

 

On April 23, James Buchanan High School hosted its first annual Ensemble of the Arts, in replacement of Arts in Action. At Ensemble of the Arts, there was an art show, along with performances by Messa Voce, Indoor Guard & Percussion, and Stage Band.

 

Although Arts in Action was a community favorite, Ensemble of the Arts will offer an extended appreciation for students’ artistic work.

 

“It’s just an art show,” said Mrs. Kayla Chambers-Matulevich (Faculty). “We really felt that as great as Arts in Action was for the community, we really felt that our students’ artwork wasn’t being the center of the show.”

 

For the students participating, this is their time to be the spotlight in the school.

One of the few stands to sell food, NHS had a baked goods sale, where members Kirstyn Black (12) and Annabelle McCullough (12) sold a baked good to Grace McKenzie (11).

“I feel like in our school, sports are always seen as taking over every other activity, so I think this is a good opportunity for kids to really show their arts because it’s not only paintings, drawings, and clay work, but it’s also with the music,” said Olivia Harmon (11). “It’s a chance to let these kids who are usually over-shined come out from underneath and show who they are and what they do.”

 

Past years at Arts in Action, there have been petting zoos, food, crafts for younger kids, and other various activities. At Ensemble of the Arts, there will be very little of those things.

 

“We are considering next year maybe having some performances,” said Chambers, “but if you would go to a college or really any other high schools, and you go to an art show, you are there to view that art, not to see demonstrations.”

 

Although the art show will be fruitful for the older students, the younger children might not have the same reaction because of its seriousness.

“I think that having an ensemble and having it not be an art competition but like a showcase. It’s more of a serious thing, so people might take the artwork more seriously, especially in high school,” said Harmon. “Also for the younger kids who come around and have artwork, it might not serve them for what they’re looking for in different programs, such as the petting zoo or the art demonstrations before.”

One of the events at Ensemble of the Arts was a show by the Indoor Percussion, where they performed their routine for this year, “The Noise Inside”.

Since this is the first year of Ensemble of the Arts, it is pretty small and there are not numerous categories for the art.

 

“Next year, I would like to have at least two categories: 3D, 2D, and then maybe Best in Show. This year we are just going to stick to one overall category,” said Chambers.

 

There is more to the art show for students than just their own creations being viewed.

 

“I’m looking forward to seeing other people’s artwork. I only ever really get to see mine, to be honest, because obviously, I work on my own art,” said Harmon. “I don’t get a chance to see other peoples. Now, I get to see what they are able to do.”

 

While Ensemble of the Arts lets the community focus on what students in all sections of art can do, it will permanently replace Arts in Action.

 

Baking, Building, and Bonding

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Two of the gingerbread structures, a truck and log cabin, sit finished after the designing and planning.

Houses are covered in a dusting of soft, white snow around the neighborhood while icicles hang from the roof so elegantly that only a steady hand could have produced them. Gingerbread fills the air with an intoxicating aroma. Gum drops line the path to the front door that you have to twist a peppermint to- Wait, what? Are we talking about a gingerbread house here?  

Mrs. Chambers-Matulevich (Faculty) 3D Design class combined with Mrs. Horst’s (Faculty) Life Skills class to create gingerbread structures together. Taking up their time before winter bre

As they glue the pieces together with icing, Ashton Heckman(9) and Austin Shaffer(9) wait patiently for the roof of their log cabin to stick together.

ak, the two classes formed multiple groups of students from both classes to create the structure of their desire. While the 3D Design class worked on the design, the

Life Skills class baked and gathered the ingredients.

One of Chambers’ students in her 3D Design class gave her the idea for this project.

“I was like, gingerbread, great idea!” she said. “How are we going to accomplish that? I don’t have an oven.”

From there, Chambers-Matulevich approached Horst, who has an oven, and Horst loved the idea. Together, the two came up with the details to incorporate the skills taught in both classes to create the educational project.

Putting the pieces together of their train and police car, Chance Buchanan (9), Tristen McFadden(9), and Dustin Goshorn(11) concentrate on gluing their gingerbread together.

While the students look forward to the fun of building, designing, and probably nibbling on the supplies, Chambers-Matulevich sees it more as a life lesson.

“I think it’s just really great experience. Not only for her students, but for my students as well,” said Chambers-Matulevich. “You know, you have to communicate with lots of different people.”

Going away from the traditional gingerbread house, the students have decided to use the gingerbread in different forms.

“There’s castles, mansions, trucks, trains, police cars, train stations, trees, a cabin,” said Chambers.

Designing their gingerbread proved difficult at times for the students.

“I think the main challenge is just finding a simple enough pattern that we can make it in the time we have,” said Emily Palmerchuck (11), whose group made a pickup truck. “The original design we had had peppermint wheels, but the

peppermints we can find around here aren’t big enough, so we changed that to the colorful swirling lollipops.”

Currently, designing has been a trouble for the students, but there are worries for what also lies ahead when it comes to building.

“I’m really nervous about the building because I’ve never built a gingerbread house, and part of me can see like giant catastrophes ending in tears,” said Chambers-Matulevich. “I’m hoping it doesn’t go that way, but I am mildly afraid that it could be a catastrophe.”

Enjoying the less stressful part of building their gingerbread house, Alexis Crabtree (10) and Edward Leevy (9) put the gumdrops on the roof.

Even the students themselves are concerned about their structures holding up with the designs that they have made.

“The fact that we have to lift it off the ground with just candy is gonna be interesting, and I think the biggest thing with gingerbread houses is making sure the icing will dry and stick together,” said Palmerchuck.

Going along with the concerns for the building, one of Palmerchuck’s group members also has apprehensions with the design.

“The hood is sorta slanted,” said Adam Cramer (11). “The front piece is too short, and there is gonna be a gap in between the windshield and the roof.”

Although the students and teachers were worried about the outcome of the 3D Design and Life Skills classes gingerbread creations, they used loads of icing and plenty of decorations to achieve their goals. Castles, police cars, and log cabins alike, are all covered in gum drops and peppermints waiting for Christmas day to arrive. 

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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