COLUMBUS — A school group is making a colorful splash with a brush stroke here and sketch there.
The Columbus High School Art Club is taking on crafty projects inside and outside the school. Hopes are to eventually have an impact on the city.
“We are trying to promote art in the community and our school,” said art teacher Tim Garth, who oversees the group.
The club formed four years ago when Garth came to the school. It meets every Thursday after school. The number of students who attend meetings vary usually between 10-20.
Since it has been formed, students have completed a number of projects, including murals at the high school and West Park Elementary School.
One of the biggest projects was recently completed this year. It is a tree sculpture made of fiber glass and cement that stands near the east entrance of the school. It took about 20 hours to complete.
Like other school groups, art club is voluntary.
“For a lot of the kids, this is just one of the five things they have to do each week,” Garth said of student involvement.
Many have multiple after-school activities, like sports and performance arts. So art club has to compete for attention in attracting students.
When Steven Jones joined the group, he was a freshman.
“I was not into any activity, and I thought I should get involved,” Jones said.
Art was something he was always interested in, so the club fit with him.
Now that Jones is a junior, his schedule is packed with more activities, like National Honor Society, speech and choir. But he always makes time for art club because it gives him an opportunity to express himself.
Junior Taylor Ainsworth joined the group this year. She has taken nearly all the other elective art classes available at the school. Art club provides her with a chance to continue painting and drawing. It also gives her an opportunity to work with different mediums, like the tree sculpture, that she otherwise wouldn’t be able to in a class.
Ryan Bennett is another newcomer to the group. The junior echoed his classmates.
“It is fun opportunity to do things with art,” he said.
The latest project the group has undertaken is creating locker decorations. The projects are up to the students. Garth said he wants the students to be in charge and take the lead.
Art, Garth said, is important for students to participate in.
“It’s a great way to use different modes of thinking,” he said. It reinforces that the world isn’t just black and white and there are different ways of looking at solutions to problems.
“I’m not sure everyone realizes the time and thought that goes in a work of art,” Garth said.