City of Lucas Holds Inaugural Art in Public Places Event
Jan. 31, 2019 – The walls of Lucas City Hall took on a gallery-like appearance as artwork by local student artists was hung for the inaugural Art in Public Places. Kent Souriyasak, City of Lucas Special Projects Coordinator, said, “This is the first time that the City of Lucas is displaying local student artwork at city hall. In October, City Manager Joni Clarke and Council Member Debbie Fisher informed me of their interest in showcasing local student artwork. They provided input regarding how they envision the Art in Public Places program. Several months later, the vision for the Art in Public Places program has become a reality.”
Souriyasak explained how the artwork was selected, “Brice McCasland, Visual Art Coordinator at Lovejoy ISD, was a huge supporter of our newly envisioned program. Brice invited the City Council to attend the Lovejoy Fine Arts Festival in early December to view student artwork from all the Lovejoy ISD schools. At the Fine Arts Festival, city council members selected standout art pieces from each grade that could potentially be displayed at city hall.”
Throughout the come-and-go event, artists arrived with their family and mingled with city staff and council members. Council and staff were thrilled to meet the artists and hear the stories behind the art.
Luis Sandoval, a 10th grader at Lovejoy High School, said the assignment for his piece of art on display was to redefine a word that had meaning in their life. If the word had a negative meaning to them, they were to create the art to give the word a positive meaning. He chose the word ‘Gemelos’, which is the Spanish word for ‘twins’. He said, “When I was younger, my younger sister and I were the same height. When we would meet new relatives they would ask if we were twins. Since I was older, that made me mad and made me feel less than.” He used a tape measure to spell out the word, took a photo of it, and then drew it. This word has taken on a positive meaning for him.
In addition to being the LISD Visual Art Coordinator, McCasland also teaches AP Art at LHS. He said, “I loved partnering with Lucas on this. It has given us a chance to celebrate the kids’ work. We encourage kids to be independent thinkers and have their own voice in artwork.”
Jenny Slaver is the art teacher at Willow Spring Middle School. Regarding this event, she said, “I think it’s awesome any time we can bring students’ artwork into the community and get it beyond the art room walls.” One of her students, Sofia Van Rijn, had a continuous line contour drawing self-portrait on display. Slaver said, “This project creates pathways between the right and left hemisphere of the brain.”
There were 17 pieces submitted from Lovejoy ISD and six pieces submitted from Allen ISD. There are a total of 23 art pieces on display at City Hall. There will also be a few art pieces on display at the Lucas Fire Station. The art will be on display for one year.