New club inspires budding artistsPublished 10:04pm Monday, September 17, 2012
When Dowagiac Middle School Principal Matt Severin suggested a future art club that new art teacher Nora Mason could organize, she decided not to wait for the “future” part.
In only the second meeting of the weekly club Monday afternoon, the group had doubled in size. Students dove into the messy gray clay to begin the first project — making a bowl. The middle school, which has been without an art club for several years, normally only offers an art class to seventh-grade students. When Mason, a 2003 Dowagiac graduate, took the job, she jumped at the opportunity to create an artistic outlet for students.
“I want to be able to cover things I might not get the chance to cover in class,” Mason said. “The goal is to make a connection to the community with art, or just art in the context of the world.”
After the first meeting of brainstorming ideas, students said they were excited to start with clay.
“I joined because I thought it’d be fun,” Marissa Richey, a sixth-grader, said. “I want to maybe make a sculpture.”
Sixth-grader Emily Potter said she heard about the club through morning announcements and decided to join with her two friends, Alexis Janes and Ashley Woolsey.
“We can’t take art in sixth grade, so this lets us do something after school,” Potter said. “The best part so far is working with the clay.”
For Woolsey, the experience was new and interesting.
“I thought it might have just been drawing,” Woolsey said. “But then we got here, and we got these clumps of clay… it feels weird.”
Mason said that, while the club has a small fund available from the previous club, she aims to hold a fundraiser for a field trip.
“I’m hoping to get them into a craft show at the high school,” Mason said. “It would give us the chance to go out and see art from other perspectives.”
DMS students are welcome to join the club, which meets every Monday afternoon after school in the art room.