After the COVID-19 pandemic interruption in 2020, Buena Vista High School was relieved to be able to hold its traditional Creative Arts Fair this year. At last, students were able to present their hard work from the school year, and the public was able to come and admire their talent.
“I think that we were very lucky this year to get to make art as much as we did, and be in person making art,” says Averi Mullenax, BVHS art teacher. “I think that kind of speaks to our school that we got to do all this great stuff.”
The virus still had an impact on classrooms as different students would be quarantined for 2 weeks. “Everybody was in different spots because they’d get quarantined and then come back,” Mullenax says. “That was kind of tough, but I think they all did a really good job persevering and finishing their artwork.”
Among the tables and desks at the fair was a floating bedside table supported by chains instead of wood built by sophomore Sam Dylan. After seeing a similar miniature model in his classroom, and with no other ideas on what to create, he decided a floating table would be cool.
“That took me pretty much the whole year. It was a lot of complicated angles and joints to build,” Dylan says, adding that it was also a really fun build.
Sophomore Elijah Evans was also very happy with the opportunity to build something of his own in Metal Shop. He spent around 3 weeks putting together an exercise bar.
“I know most schools don’t really get this, and just making and welding and learning things that most grown men don’t really know how to do is a really awesome opportunity to make something I’ve been wanting for a long time,” he says. After this success, Evans has more, possibly bigger projects brewing for the future.
Completing his second year as middle school and high school industrial arts teacher, BVHS alumnus Corbin Bennetts was happy to see the students’ collective efforts over the year and relieved to see that the interference of the pandemic did not hinder those efforts. He is also happy to be a part of the school’s longstanding tradition of holding the Creative Arts Fair, especially as it nears its 50th year, he said.
“I think the kids worked really hard on their projects and came up with some really cool ideas. It was really fun to watch them turn their ideas into reality,” Bennetts says. “At the beginning of the year, there was a lot of worry that they wouldn’t be able to get in the shop and be able to do it. I just feel really lucky that they were able to be at the school and actually build things instead of learning online.”
Looking to change things up this year, junior Hailey Stromer decided to tackle sewing. In addition to sewing works directly onto the canvas that took one week each to complete, she chose to create sewing art inspired by the works of Vincent van Gogh: “Starry Night” and “Starry Night over the River.”
These took much longer to complete, one of which she logged 100 hours.
“I had never done anything with sewing before, so it was completely new to me and it was kind of one of those art fields that I wasn’t very familiar with. I wanted to test my limits and see what I could do with it,” Stromer says.
Stromer got enough enjoyment just in getting to create her art and share her new hobby with others at the Creative Arts Fair. When the judges awarded her “Starry Night” piece with a Superior ribbon, she was even more delighted and “was not expecting it at all,” she said.