Art is alive and well at Oakdale High School.
To make this fact not only more apparent, but available to the community the Oakdale High School art department will once again host a special ‘OHS Evening of the Arts’ program. Back for a second year, the show is planned for this Friday, March 1 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The free event is open to the public and will be hosted in the OHS Small Gymnasium.
“Last year being inaugural, it was a work in progress,” OHS alum and second year Visual Arts teacher Matt McDonald said. “This year we’re just trying to do it bigger and better. More art and more students involved.”
McDonald is the brains behind the idea for the second time event, sharing that he felt it important for the community as well as families to see firsthand the level of artistic talent found among the students at OHS. This year he anticipates a total of from 450 to close to 600 pieces of art in varying mediums, including ceramics, featured at the event.
The event will be set up on Thursday, Feb. 28 by the students and then opened to the student body on Friday for viewing, prior to the public show.
McDonald also noted a grant donation from Oakdale Educational Foundation (OEF) allowed the purchase of display panels, which make the growth of the art display possible.
“We make the students part of the set up too, so they can see how it goes together,” he said of Thursday’s sweat equity.
Oakdale High seniors Riddick McCoy, Kaitlyn Anthony, Estrella Castro and Alondra Castro each shared their excitement of participating in the show for a second year.
“I really like the experience because I felt like I got to put my best work forward,” McCoy said of his first year experience with the show in 2018. Upon attending the show last year with family, McCoy also learned his work had received a blue ribbon from the judges.
Twin sisters, Estrella and Alondra Castro, shared they each were inspired to be artists since a young age from their two older sisters.
Fellow classmate Kaitlyn Anthony said she has such a passion for art, that she tried her hand at three different art classes last year.
“I can’t really figure out which one I liked most,” Anthony said.
Of the many things she feels she gains from being an artist, focus is at the top of the list.
“As frustrated as I get sometimes … I’m all over the place half the time,” she stated, “but if I focus on one piece it’ll calm me down.”
The students, as well as their teacher, additionally shared they felt the art show was an opportunity to see there is more to the Student Body of OHS than sports and performing arts. McDonald shared art classes at the campus have maintained a full capacity the past two years.
“Maybe because students saw it last year there’s a little more excitement,” McDonald said, “and a little more desire to be involved this year.”