SENIORS GO TO GREAT DEPTHS

Artists are, from left, Josh Terrell, Cassie Williams, April Cozart, Kelsey Burnis and Lacey Carroll. Paintings are top from left, (Clowning Around) Terrell, (Ace, The Sea Turtle) Cozart, (Blue Rings) Burnis and (Sea Dragon) Williams; below left, (Sea Eagle) Carroll.

BY L. CLARK

They love art and they care about preserving our oceans.

The two components brought Lacey Carroll, Josh Terrell, Kelsey Burnis and April Cozart together to form the required four-member senior project team.

The Tupelo High School seniors chose to focus on ecological issues and, as the community service aspect of the project, decided to supply the media center with paintings of sea creatures. 

The paintings will replace the personal art collection belonging to their instructor and mentor Karen Barclay who will retire soon.

“Since Mrs. Barclay will be taking hers down, our paintings will keep the library walls from looking so bare,” said Carroll.

Painting the colorful inhabitants of the sea on 3’x4” canvases led to many months of work and proved to be a learning experience.

“For the most part, none of us have ever painted before,” said Carroll. “I can draw but have never painted with acrylics. Kelsey also draws and has dabbled some in acrylics but not on a large scale.”

For Cozart and Terrell, it was their first experience with painting.

The paintings were unveiled at an art opening/reception in the media center at THS. Among the refreshments were goldfish crackers and jellyfish gummies. Lobster claw utensils were used to scoop the treats onto plates.

“These students worked fourth period, after school and on Saturdays since January. It has been joyous and difficult,” said Barclay.

Criteria for senior projects requires a community service component, an individual research paper, oral presentation, triptych and a portfolio.

Cassie Williams, a Junior National Art Honor Society member, volunteered her talent to help the seniors complete their project. She completed the fifth canvas for her community service for NAHS.

The devastating effects of recent oil spills and pollution and the fact that sea animals make ideal subjects served as the reason behind the aquatic theme.

“We hope through our paintings to show how beautiful the sea animals are and, therefore, encourage their preservation.” said Carroll.

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