Hinsdale Central High School is celebrating Illinois Arts Week and Red Ribbon Week in tandem, as both fall in October.
The art department organized a “live day of art” Monday with students creating artwork in the school cafeteria and the halls.
“By having students start a project and work on it throughout the day, we can showcase the creative thinking process,” Milas, the chair of Hinsdale Central’s art department. “We ... feel that students benefit from de-mystification of these processes since we all have the capabilities to improve our creative thinking. It is our role as the art department to reach outside of our curriculum to positively impact all students.”
The art department set up stations where non-art students could either vote for an artwork they liked or create their own.
“The ‘Live Day of Art’ is also a way of highlighting the many talented students in our program,” Milas said. “These artists are, otherwise, anonymous to visitors to the student gallery or art shows.”
Natalie Zajeski, a senior from Hinsdale, was doing fashion design in the cafeteria, painting a red dress on a black figure.
“The inspiration for this was ballet punk,” Zajeski said. The combination is “kind of weird,” she said, “but both embody the inner spirit. The combination of edgy and feminine, I like that contrast. Girly stuff with studs.”
Her own style is constantly changing, Zajeski said. The ends of her hair were pink, leftover from when she dyed her hair pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Julia Huang, a senior, was painting a portrait of her friend’s grandfather.
She explained she was doing a series on old people for her AP Studio Arts class.
Mallory Griffith, also a senior from Hinsdale, said her painting of a Cambodian schoolboy was part of her series on different cultures. She has been fortunate to already have visited 13 different countries.
The students hope the exposure will lead to more students taking art courses.
The arts also complement the anti-drug theme of Red Ribbon Week.
“We are celebrating the arts as an alternative to drugs and alcohol,” said student activities director Sally Phillip. “We have a number of activities going on all week to offer alternatives to doing drugs and being creative in other ways instead.”
Throughout the week were scheduled chalk drawings in the courtyard, Kung Fu demonstrations, poetry readings, pumpkin decorating and root beer and pretzels in the student café, courtesy of the German Club.