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MCMS students showcase work

5th annual Night of the Arts a success

LEWISTOWN – Artwork lined the walls of the Mifflin County Middle School for its fifth annual Night of the Arts Tuesday night.

Cassie Campbell, art teacher and leader of the Art Club, said everything displayed is by students of MCMS.

In addition to drawings, clay pieces and paintings on display, the Night of the Arts hosted artists demonstrating their work.

Liam Melanson, grade six, and Samantha Kyle, grade seven, were sitting at a table working on a drawing of an insect and of people, respectively. Around the pair were pieces of art they created on their own time.

Both are members of the Art Club.

Campbell said Kyle drew all the designs on the Night of the Arts program.

Another group sharing their talents were the Huskie Knitters.

These creators work on making hats for infants. Last year, 24 hats were donated to Healthy Families America via the Snyder Union Mifflin Child Development Inc.

Olivia Stewart, grade six, said at the beginning of the school year the Huskie Knitters Club piqued her interest and she joined. She learned how to knit after becoming a member.

“I like helping people,” Stewart said, and that drove her decision to knit hats for babies.

The Night of the Arts started five years ago with a reception honoring the completion of the school’s glass mosaic that lines the staircase.

Since then, they have kept adding on to the program, Campbell said.

The Mifflin Juniata Arts Council sends judges to the Night of the Arts and presents selected MCMS students’ work with first, second and third place ribbons.

Another art form found in the halls of the school was a table of paper flowers crafted by seventh graders Desmyn Haughwot and Morgan Wagner.

The girls were each inspired to make paper flowers for different reasons.

“I was talking to a friend about creativity,” Wagner said, “and paper flowers popped into my mind.”

Haughwot’s interest stems from her love of plants.

“I like making them,” she said. “People buy fresh flowers and they die, so these are something they can keep.”

It takes months to organize and set up the Night of the Arts, said Campbell.

“Students from every educational level were able to contribute to the show,” she said. “I got a lot of help from teachers and the Art Club. Garry Price is another art teacher and was a pushing force for this event.”

Family and Consumer Sciences helped with refreshments, and Mifflin County High School students who participated in their musical, Grease, were present to perform a few songs.

MCMS has a drama and film club led by art teacher Garry Price that meets after school twice a week.

Annually, the club creates a film.

“Some kids write the script, others work on costumes and the set and other students do the acting,” Price said.

Editing is done by Price.

This year, the students’ film is called Wrong Place Wrong Time. It focuses on time travel and takes place in 1985.

At the end of the year, the film is shown to the school.

“I think students surprise themselves with their talent. After it’s up on the wall and the film is done they look at it and go, ‘Oh. I actually did that,'” Campbell said.

The library offered poetry written by MCMS students on computers and access to the Art Club art store, with the proceeds directed to the Art Club.

Campbell is pleased with the number of people who make an effort to attend the Night of the Arts.

“It shows creativity is worthy of paying attention to,” she said. “We don’t miss sports or academics. Art is enriching and it uses problem solving.”

This year will be Campbell’s last, as she is retiring after 30 years of teaching.

“I am happy and sad,” she said. “I hope someone will be able to continue [the Night of the Arts].”

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