Hatboro-Horsham’s district-wide art show connects community to art

HORSHAM — To integrate the community into the arts at Hatboro-Horsham School District, the district held a K-12 art show on April 27 at Hatboro-Horsham High School.

HHHS offers a broad array of courses including painting, drawing, ceramics, digital art, jewelry, photography and even technology education classes. Students in grades K-8 enjoy art classes that also cover a wide variety of media and styles, getting to experience a range of artistic disciplines.

Leah Ellert, art teacher and the art department chair at HHHS, led the coordination of the event between the elementary, middle and high school art departments to draw the community in.

  • Families and community members view grades 9-12 artwork in the...

    Families and community members view grades 9-12 artwork in the art gallery.

  • A trio of strings performs as one of the musical...

    A trio of strings performs as one of the musical performances during the show.

“As art teachers, we are so fortunate to witness student growth and artistic effort every day in our classrooms. We can see that learners are developing in their creative thinking skills as well as artistic talents,” said Ellert. “This event opens up the doors and makes people feel a part of the arts in Hatboro-Horsham, and see how much we are dedicated to our students’ growth.”

K-8 artwork was on display in the auxiliary gym while high school art was displayed in the art gallery. The work chosen by students and teachers best showcased student growth and skills. AP art students showcased their entire portfolio in the show.

“Most are seniors, who took many art classes to reach advanced level, so displaying their full portfolio is an homage to their work,” explained Ellert.

The annual event garnered about 800 guests this year with the highlight of the show being the three live demonstrations: digital art, painting and drawing, and ceramics.

“It was so much fun to watch the community crowd around our students, ask them questions about the creative process and see them in action, in addition to seeing their finished artworks on display in the show,” said Ellert.

National Art Honor Society students ran the live demos as well as the family activities, which included face painting, caricatures and a photo booth. The background of the photo booth was a student recreation of the famous painting “The Scream” by Edvard Munch and props were available to use. Additionally, families had the opportunity to try their hand at the arts and paint watercolor bookmarks.

“It gave them a chance to make art, see that it is hard work and gain an appreciation for what our students do,” said Ellert.

To create ambiance while viewing the art and enjoying activities, Ellert coordinated with the elementary, middle and high school music departments. Third through eighth grade musicians performed where their art was displayed in the auxiliary gym, while high school musicians performed in the gallery with grades 9-12 artwork.

“It was important to highlight the connection between visual arts and performing arts,” said Ellert. “Listening to the music performances of students while surrounded by the art of their peers or selves creates an even richer experience.”

Musical performances were in 30-minute time slots and included a pianist, trio of strings, trumpet play and more. The final performance at the high school level was a student playing a guitar that he actually built in a technology education class. The student shaped the wood and used machines to build the guitar, which was on display in the gallery up until his performance.

The art show also featured three food trucks to make the event more accessible for families and provide an easy dinner option to guests.

“I would like to recognize the work of the K-12 art teachers for the tremendous effort that is required to prepare all of the art for this show and for their commitment to our students,” said Ellert. “Within the art classrooms in HHSD there is a tremendous amount of learning, problem solving and joy that is abundant every day. Please join us in celebrating our creative students and teachers again at next year’s art show.”

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