The Monson Arts High School program students got to enjoy an open reception for their end year of projects on May 3rd at the Monson Arts Gallery. There was an awesome turn-out of family, friends, teachers and administrators, as well as the student artists and writers themselves, making the beautiful spring evening energetic and enjoyable. 


To get ready for the show, visual artists worked with Monson Arts teachers and staff to not just complete, polish off, and make decisions about their final work but to help lay out the show itself. Led by Monson Arts Director, Chantal Harris, students got a crash course on deciding how to pair works and place them in a way that creates depth, flow, and conversation while paying attention to theme, position, and color. As this was a show that included writing, both the art and the written pieces were considered and matched to enhance the experience. Additionally, visual arts students got to see their works both professionally framed and mounted on backings to properly display them on the walls. Seeing their work from creation to final gallery display gave visual arts a true sense of the entire process. 


Writers had a different experience in their last few classes. While they were choosing their written pieces, they were also working on editing with the help of teacher Dawn Potter, getting feedback on how to make their work stronger while teacher Potter led them in formatting and copy editing, ensuring each work was polished and ready to be printed and mounted on large cardstock to hang for the show. 


The last official class for the writers saw Dawn hand over the reins to the students who collaborated on a writing project that culminated in creating a short story/play which they then acted out, including having props and multiple scenes with dialogue. They not only created several characters, storyline, and narratives, they collectively problem solved the story as each member took on a different character and melded it with each other’s. This highly engaging class was incredibly empowering and showed how talented and generative each writer was, the confidence in their abilities shining through. 


We at Monson Arts are humbled and impressed by the students that took part in this unique program. This 2023/24 cohort bonded over creative problem solving, exposure to various writing and artistic techniques, hours of conversation, constructive and supportive feedback, direct instruction from multiple teachers, interactions with Monson Arts Residents from all over the world, and, especially, the quiet moments of creation together as they painted, drew, constructed, wrote, erased, wrote again, thought, analyzed, and played with their projects using their very unique creative talents. 

We thank all our school partners – teachers and principals and bus/van drivers – who helped create this opportunity for their students. Their dedication to our program is what made it happen!