Down to an art

LEWISTOWN – Sixth and seventh grade students in the Mifflin County School District will showcase their artistic talents during a Night of the Arts to be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. April 9 at Mifflin County Middle School.

Art teacher Cassie Campbell said students will present a glass mosaic mural that was created by art students under the direction of Linda Billet, of Hershey, who visited the school in March as the artist in residence.

Campbell said the mural is 10 feet tall and located in the stairway between the cafeteria and upstairs lobby. The design is homage to the local rural and farming area, featuring farms, fields and waterways, she said. Every piece of glass was hand-cut and crafted by the students.

“This is the first project the kids have done to take ownership of the building,” Campbell said.

She added that the mural is one way for students to say, “This is our middle school, it’s no longer just the former high school.”

Artwork by other students at the school will also be on display throughout the evening.

“We’re pulling some of our ‘wow’ ideas and putting them up,” Campbell said.

Entertainment will be provided by MCMS choir and band students. Campbell said sub-groups within the musical department will be singing and playing for the crowd. There will also be students dancing.

“We get so busy sometimes that we forget to slow down and watch these magical moments where (the students) get to excel,” Campbell said. “(Night of the Arts) is a chance for kids that shine in these areas to have their moment in the spotlight.”

Family and consumer science students at the school have stayed several nights after school to prepare 1,000 cookies for guests. During the evening, Mifflin-Juniata Career and Technology Center students will join them serve a variety of snacks and refreshments.

Campbell said the event is a collaborative effort with Linda Billet, artist in residency, Susan Mowery, MCHS family and consumer science teacher, Lynn Fohringer, culinary arts teacher at MJCTC, Vicki Fensterbush, MCHS music teacher, and Heather Confer, who helped set up the art display. Campbell also recognized the Perry County Council of the Arts, Pennsylvania Council of the Arts and the Mifflin County School District administration for keeping the arts alive in local schools.

“This is one of the perks of my job, to see the kids shining,” she said. “Let’s just take a moment and check out what they’ve done and what they can do.”