Arts Night celebrates district’s talent
With clay, brass and fabric among its most celebrated guests, Quincy’s schools paid tribute to its arts during the annual Arts Night on April 22.
Young musicians, painters, sculptors, dancers and many others, all from Quincy public schools, brought their art to Quincy Junior High School, for a two-hour event that had been a long time coming.
Originally scheduled for late winter, the snow days canceled Arts Night, and it all had to be rescheduled and reorganized for mid-April instead. Each year, a different school hosts the event. Last year Monument Elementary hosted it, and next year it will be the turn of the new QHS.
This year, it was the junior high’s turn, as its transformation into Ancient Lakes Elementary nears completion.
“I love having (Arts Night) here, it allows us to show off the new building, the finished product,” QJHS principal Scott Ramsey said, before correcting himself. “The almost-finished product.”
Lisa Silk, team leader for the district’s visual and performing arts group, said the Arts Night moves around from year to year in order to get everybody involved.
This year’s turnout reached more than 300 visitors, and Silk wants to see even more, not just visitors, but artists.
“I would like to see every single school with art and performances,” she said.
Cassie Marchbank, art teacher at Quincy High School, said she liked seeing people from across the Quincy Valley enjoy the students’ artistic efforts.
“It’s really rewarding to see the students celebrate their artwork and have other people see their artwork,” she said. “The younger students are really inspired by the older students’ artwork, and it’s really exciting to see that.”
Marchbank added that she was looking forward to next year’s Arts Night at the new high school, and to the new classes the bigger building will allow, like an advanced ceramics class, complete with potters’ wheels.
One of the students whose art went under the public’s microscope at Arts Night was Andrea Franco, who said she didn’t like sharing her work with people, “but I’ve heard nice comments about it, so it feels really nice.” She designed a sugar skull made of clay, very traditional during Day of the Dead in Mexico.
This was Franco’s first Arts Night. “It’s a little nerve-racking,” she said.
In addition to the artistic displays such as Franco’s, the district honored QHS band parent Karen Ronish as this year’s Friend of the Arts.
“She has helped me tremendously in my first year teaching,” said band director Patrick Gordon. “Making sure we are doing all the things we need to be doing.”
Gordon credited Ronish with raising around $9,000 for the band.
By Sebastian Moraga, firstname.lastname@example.org