Tag Archives: arts education

Young Local Artist Annelise DeLancy

At the impressive age of 17, Annelise DeLancy is a young local artist who already has her own solo art exhibit at the Schepis Museum. A recent graduate and art student from Caldwell Parish High School, we thought Annelise would be the perfect individual to speak to about arts education.

When talking to Annelise, she explained that she had always been in love with visual art. When she was very young, Annelise created her first artwork with her aunt who introduced her to oil painting. It was then that her passion for art was sparked, and it stuck with her ever since.

“I’ve always been obsessed with art. My grandma says that I came into the world with a pencil and color in my hand.”

Although Annelise had the desire to learn more about the intricacies of art, her public middle school did not provide art education classes at the time. It was not until high school, she able to enroll in an art class. There, she was finally able to learn the artistic techniques and concepts.

“We learned primary colors, secondary colors, shades, lines, textures, patterns, everything– and how they fit in with each other. Art is kind of like a puzzle; you piece it all together in your own little way and make it unique.”

However, it wasn’t instantaneous for Annelise how she would make her “puzzle” individually unique. Annelise explained that it actually took her a year to discover her own painting style: rustic vibes, wildflowers, cotton fields, and country living. Once Annelise was able to find her true artistic identity, her art started flying off the walls. Annelise chuckled that one woman even offered her a thousand dollars for one of her paintings in her high school’s art show- which she humbly declined. Soon enough, word got around, her social media presence grew, and the Schepis Museum formally invited her to have her own solo exhibit!

“I had one lady offer me one thousand dollars for one, but I turned it down because I wasn’t really in love with that piece. I think I sold it for a hundred dollars.”

Just as it did for Annelise, arts education transforms a student’s life. Annelise shares that art is an outlet for her to express herself, and it allows her to convey who she is in a way nothing else can. She says the way she interprets life is different because of art. When life hits her in ways she doesn’t expect, she now has art to melt away her stress, anger, sadness, and transform those feelings to colors onto a canvas.

“I take my crazy emotions and make it into something beautiful.”

To see Annelise’s beautiful artworks like this one, be sure to visit the Schepis Museum in Caldwell Parish from 9am-5pm Monday through Friday. Her exhibit will be featured until August 31st, so be sure to visit soon.

Imagine if Annelise never was able to enroll in her first high school art class. Our full research shows that there are still 9,922 rural public school students without a single opportunity to attend an arts education class. Donate to the Arts Council today to help assist our arts education initiatives.

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Meet Talented Music Student Deterrius Johnson

One of the biggest goals of the Northeast Louisiana Arts Council is to bring access to arts education into the public school systems of all the parishes we serve. Whether it be marching band, dance, visual arts, orchestra, or choir, we believe it is our community’s obligation to provide our students with these life-changing opportunities which cultivate imagination and creativity. Yet after conducting research, we found that there are still currently 9,922 rural public school students without a single opportunity for an arts education class.

We were happy to have the chance to visit Franklin Parish High School and get to know student Deterrius Johnson, also known as DJ, who is a qualified Talented Music student. DJ is currently a rising senior and has been enrolled in his school’s choir classes through middle school and high school. DJ first shared with us that music has always been a huge influence in his life. His mother was in their church’s choir at King Jesus Worship Center since he was born; he joined that choir as well when he was 9-years-old and continued singing ever since.

“I’ve been singing most of my life. My momma said when she used to sing in the choir, she could feel me jumping in her stomach when she was pregnant with me,” said DJ.

DJ Johnson

DJ explained that that he was so thankful for the Talented Music program and for his school’s choir program because he felt as if it gave him a time to shine and grow in his overall confidence. He paid regards to his choir director who taught him several techniques such as how to control his breathing and how to conduct his warm-up exercises. Not only is DJ a singer at his home church and high school, he is also a music minister for three other local churches where he plays piano and organ. Music is clearly such a huge part of DJ’s life, and he wants to keep it that way. After graduating, he plans to attend college and major in classical voice performance where he will focus on the genres of opera and gospel.

Some ideas that DJ wants to make known to the community is how much of a positive impact arts education provides. He wishes there were more public support for arts programs because they are continually cut short and neglected versus other aspects in school systems. He wishes that people did not view music as short-lived flashy concerts and focused more inwardly on how the arts can transform one’s inner spirit like it does to his.

“It’s not just about shows- it’s really about what you feel on the inside. Music is like a way to escape. If I’m in a bad mood, all I have to do is sing and I’ll be alright. It uplifts me,” said DJ.

Just as it does for DJ, arts education literally changes one’s being and one’s future. The Arts Council is creating many initiatives to bring the gift of arts into schools, and one way we are doing that is by the creation of a 2018-2019 Arts Teachers’ Wish Lists. We gave teachers around the 318 the opportunity to share items they need to complete their arts classrooms.  When you give, 100% of your donation will go directly towards the completion of the teachers’ classrooms.

Complete an arts teacher’s wish list today by clicking here.

-Joanna Calhoun

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Meet Talented Art Student Camryn Price

One of our ultimate goals as the Northeast Louisiana Arts Council is to promote and provide quality arts education to our local schools. Whether it be theater, band, dance, choir, orchestra, or visual arts, we believe that all children should have the opportunity to partake in the amazing world of creativity. However, our research has shown that there are still several rural parishes in northeast Louisiana that are not able to provide any opportunities for their students to study the arts.

We were fortunate enough to get know high-school student, Camryn Price, and talk about her personal experiences with the arts education programs in Franklin Parish. Camryn is a qualified Talented Art student and currently takes art classes at her high-school. She first explained how she began doodling at a young age and had always enjoyed drawing.

“I’ve always liked art throughout my whole life. When I was a kid I’d draw princesses. And whenever I got older, I didn’t really see it being realistic as a career until I got into Talented Art,” said Camryn.

Camryn Price

However, she was never given the opportunity to explore her talent in elementary or middle-school. When she finally got to high-school, she was recommended for and tested into the Talented Art program and was able to enroll in her very first visual arts class at the age of 16. With her face glowing, Camryn expressed how that single art class had completely opened her eyes to a world of possibilities.

“So many possibilities and opportunities with art opened up to me. I didn’t really think I was ever good enough,” said Camryn.

Before the class, Camryn had only known how to draw with a plain No. 2 pencil. She gave huge regards to her art instructor, Mary Marr Nelson, who taught her how to paint with lively watercolors and acrylics. Camryn shared that her absolute favorite part of the day was to enter her art classroom, escape the world, and do what she was there to do and loved to do: paint. In the same way a grey pencil transformed into the endless pigments of paints, Camryn’s mindset and future did as well through the arts. A year ago, Camryn had no idea that someone, particularly herself, had the talent to pursue art as a career. Now she’s designing school logos, starting a t-shirt line, and has the dream of becoming a graphic designer!

“The best thing about art in general is that you have a chance to express yourself, and no one can really say anything different,” said Camryn.

Just this little glimpse into one student’s life shows how much a single arts class can transform someone’s world. However, there are still 9,922 rural public school students in northeast Louisiana who go through an entire school year with no access to any arts class. We are creating many initiatives to bring the gift of arts into schools; one way to help is to visit our 2018-2019 Arts Teachers’ Wish Lists. By purchasing an item, 100% of the dollar amount will go directly towards building their classroom.  When you give, 100% of your donation will go directly towards the completion of the teachers’ classrooms.

Complete an arts teacher’s wish list today by clicking here.

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