Art Students bring Tallwood Creativity to Life: Tallwood Students Participate in City-Wide Art Competitions


The mural that will be presented at the Oceanfront on 18th Street.

Frances Summers, Features Editor

Self expression for high school students is often found through art. It allows students to understand and interpret their interests which can be presented in their artwork. They can compile their favorite art elements, styles, and colors with their hobbies, personal perspectives, and casual doodles to produce magnificent pieces for their Tallwood High School art classes. Some of these pieces even find their place in Virginia Beach’s art festivals, competitions and museums. Tallwood’s art teachers, Mrs. Schutte and Mrs. Campbell, push their students to work creatively and cooperatively to produce pieces for Tallwood High School and the Virginia Beach art community.

Tallwood High School pushes for productivity and recognition of the art programs by connecting the city of Virginia Beach with Tallwood’s art classes. Before these pieces reach the city’s platforms, Tallwood pushes their art students to explore different kinds of art. Luckily, Mrs. Schutte offers different kinds of art classes that are open for students’ participation. She teaches “Art Foundations” that “explores all media including drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpting” as well as “Ceramics and Sculpture” which delves into the sculpting of “in the round and in the relief with cardboard, paper pulp, copper, clay, wire, wood, and found objects.”

According to Mrs. Campbell, “Students make creative expressions based on the concepts we are teaching in class so that they are not only learning techniques but learning how to express their thoughts and ideas through personal connections they are making in concepts like relationships, identity, cultural awareness, tolerance, etc.”

In order to recognize the students’ art pieces in school the art teachers “promote art by putting student work on display in the showcases and on display boards outside the library.” They also display artwork in the library. Mrs. Schutte offers “Mixed Media Art Club for students to do art outside of class time as well.” Mrs. Schutte “promotes class projects and community art projects on Twitter as well.”

Tallwood teachers then take the students’ art works into the community. Mrs. Schutte claimed, “Mrs. Campbell and I entered student artwork into several competitions and art shows this year including, the Doodle for Google competition, The Audubon Society Art Show and Contest at Pembroke Mall, Hampton Roads Student Gallery, The Elie Wiesel Visual Arts Competition, The Youth Art Month Student Art Show At MOCA, and the upcoming Virginia Beach Citywide High School Student Art Show at Pembroke Mall.”

The Steel Pier Classic Surf Art Expo Student Art Show at the Beach and the “Love Sculpture” on Atlantic Avenue art contest are upcoming opportunities for students to have “their artwork beyond the walls of Tallwood High School.”

Tallwood art students are bringing their art into the community with the project through Virginia Beach where they can enter a mural to be displayed on 18th street at the Oceanfront. Students “competed to design the mural where the design with the most votes won”. Mrs. Schutte purchased a 4’x6’ piece of plywood for students to paint. Morgan Duyos’ winning design is in progress in her classroom and will be installed at the beach within the next few weeks. “Brianna Young, Molly, Michael Dayton, and Faith are contributing to complete the mural during Lion Lunch,” according to Mrs. Schutte.

Additionally, Mrs. Campbell commented on her experiences with bringing Tallwood’s art students’ pieces into the community as well. She reflected, “In past years, I have collaborated with MOCA to have students create outdoor installations inspired by their current exhibitions that were temporarily exhibited on the museum grounds for public viewing. Mrs. Schutte and I have also had THS student exhibitions at the ODU Higher Education Center.”

Tallwood showcasing their students’ art pieces can display more than his or her academic achievements and standardized test scores. Mrs. Schutte commented, “Students need a well-rounded education, and the arts help students develop their creativity, problem solving, and their ability to work cooperatively and make decisions regarding visual expression.”

Mrs. Campbell insisted that art is connected to life skills. She claimed, “To quote Albert Einstein,  ‘Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.’ Imagination requires students to create something from nothing and transfers to every aspect of adult life and work in reference to problem solving, critical thinking, and creative thinking skills.”

These Tallwood art teaches yearn for students with a passion in the visual arts and Tallwood provides an outlet for these creative students. The art classes provided even allow for students to be recognized city-wide, so it is encouraged that these students delve into their art, and creativity, as much as possible.

“The benefits of fostering student creativity can be reflected in many areas of life and allows students to engage and persist in problem solving. This is a necessary life skill not just an art skill,” according to Mrs. Campbell.