|ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI – Kwame Building Group, Inc. (KWAME) has transformed a traditional, 600-square-foot classroom at Central Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) High School into a student art gallery to exhibit the artwork of the school’s 113 art majors during school hours and at after-school gallery events. KWAME donated labor and materials to build the gallery.“Having an art gallery adds validity to our visual arts students,” said Dwayne Buggs, Dean of Arts at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School.
“The Kwame Art Gallery gives our visual arts majors the opportunity to showcase their work on the same level as our performing arts students,” said Dr. Amy Phillips, principal of CVPA. “Art is meant to be seen and experienced.”
“The Kwame Art Gallery also lets our visual arts majors become immersed in the experience of being a professional artist,” said Dr. Phillips. “Students experience publicizing a show, putting out a call for art, hanging the work in an aesthetically pleasing manner, curating entries, lighting the show and selling their art at gallery openings.“
The gallery features fabric-wrapped panels to display art on the perimeter walls. Three rows of display cabinets also were constructed. LED spotlights were strategically placed to highlight the artwork. A series of LED lights illuminate the center of the room, which is a flexible space to accommodate 3D and other art exhibits.
“We worked closely with art teachers and school administrators to take their vision and make it reality,” said Zachary Hamilton, Vice President at Kwame Building Group, Inc. “This was truly the melding of art and construction.”
KWAME’s CEO Tony Thompson became involved with Central Visual and Performing Arts High School through the music scholarships awarded by Kwame Foundation, the nonprofit organization he and his wife Kim founded. Kwame Foundation also endows scholarships at more than 15 science and engineering colleges and universities.
Thompson supports the movement to incorporate the arts into STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs in schools. Proponents of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) support the premises that art and science working together can led to powerful problem solving and innovation.
CVPA students receive a rigorous education of core classes in addition to specialized courses in their chosen major area.
“We have some really dynamic teachers who are interested in taking the STEAM movement deeper,” said Dr. Phillips. “The process scientists engage in as they brainstorm, research, reinvent and refine a concept is the same process an artist engages in as she explores the creative process and creates something out of materials at haSan Francisco nd. The content may differ but the higher level thinking skills are closely aligned. We present those connections to students to get them to think deeper, refine ideas, research concepts and synthesize that into a new body of art or a new understanding of the concrete world.”
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Source: Kwame Building Group – News