In 2016, the National Society of Arts and Letters voted to allow students age 14-18 to become Chapter members during their participation in a chapter-affiliated high school program/project. The NSAL-St. Louis Chapter created a student program at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School, under the leadership of Art faculty member William Perry, one of the school’s founders. The Student Chapter President was Brandyn Wilkes and the Vice President was Rosa Morales. The picture shows (from left to right) Rosa Morales, Brandyn Wilkes, Guest Instructor Larry Quiggins, Conner Kitchen, Daniel Hamilton, and Lead Art Instructor William Perry.
Here is what the St. Louis Student Chapter members did during 2016-17, according to Student Chapter Liaison Adelia Parker-Castro. This first year of the NSAL Student Program at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School was very exciting! In the midst of a whirlwind school year, Mr. Perry supported this collaboration with the NSAL-St. Louis Chapter by attending meetings and arranging school-sponsored field trips for the student members, to the University of Missouri-St. Louis' Gallery 210 and the studio of printmaker Tom Huck. Mr. Huck was so impressed by the work of one student, Trent, that he offered Trent a scholarship.
Gallery 210 has served our community for 45 years, addressing social and political issues such as race, social injustice and the politics of gender and sexuality. Our NSAL-Student Program members responded to these same issues and were invited by the gallery Director, Terry Suhre, to participate in “Taking It To The Streets”, a year-long celebration in which local artists Solomon Thurman, CBabi Bayoc, Damon Davis, Lois Ingram, Denise Ward-Brown, and others examined these same issues. The students’ work was on exhibit from April 7 to May 5, 2017. Professor Suhre, our very supportive advocate and gallery guru, was on hand to provide background to the exhibitions during a field trip to the gallery on Monday, April 17, 2017.
Visiting Professor Larry Quiggins, from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri, provided the students with a master class focusing on sequential drawing. This took place on May 3, 2017 in Mr. Perry’s art room at Central Visual & Performing Arts High School. After nearly 20 years in the comic book business, Professor Quiggins now teaches basic introductory and special classes in sequential drawing and script writing in the Theatre Department at Lindenwood. His lecture and slide presentation on the history of comics was of special interest to our NSAL students, as comics and comic books was the topic they chose to examine. Early comics were often used as “truthful witness” to poke fun at political leaders, and later comics celebrated superheroes such Spiderman or Wonder Woman.
“I like being a member of NSAL because of all the experiences that it brought me and all of the opportunities it exposed me to. And my experience at the Gallery 210 was amazing, just to be surrounded by art that I can relate to and connect with deeply.” Arion M.
“I enjoyed being a member of NSAL because I feel like it helped give me a purpose. Doing stuff with art for a reason really made me feel good. Taking classes with Tom Huck was a very beneficial experience. Learning about sketchbook practices and being in an art workshop environment like that was cool. It made me feel I was very official.” Trent