BHS students ready for their first contributions to ‘First Friday’ art show

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Merielle Luepke works on a piece of art in preparation for "Uncommon Core," Bearden's contribution to December's "First Friday" art exhibition downtown.

Bearden’s art department is having an art show called “Uncommon Core” as part of “First Friday” this Friday at 510 Williams Street in downtown Knoxville from 6-10 p.m. with awards at 8.

“First Friday,” an event that happens the first Friday of every month, is located downtown on and around Gay Street; all the art galleries open up for free and usually feature professional artists as well as college artists.

This is the first time Bearden students, or any high school for that matter, have put on a show for “First Friday.”

The night will include performances by some Bearden students, including Anna Smith, Brady Moldrup, Sam Arnold, and many more from this year’s musical Thoroughly Modern Millie, free food and drinks, and, of course, the art showcase.

“I’ve gotten kids from the chorus and theater departments to come perform during the exhibition, as well as making a playlist for the time in between performances,” said senior Alison Jobe, a participant in the show. “Other than that, I created the poster that’s been used to promote the event.

“I’ll also have an artwork in the show.”

“Uncommon Core” all started with Mrs. Anna Boyd’s third period class. She decided to create a program based off of what she did in college, called a “researcherama.” She put her students on a course to create art for AP credit centered around one theme.

That’s where “Uncommon Core” comes in. Ms. Boyd decided with the other art teachers to put on an art show where her AP students could showcase their art. Then the art teachers decided to open it up to all of their students.

“We came up with the title before all the political stuff (about Common Core state standards) blew up,” Ms. Boyd said. “[BHS art teacher Mr.] Stan Hillard always says that we are not cut of the common cloth, that art is always interdisciplinary.

“We’ve always been doing stuff like Common Core; they’re just calling it this. All of our students produce really unique and individual work that’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. It’s uncommon.”

Artists from Bearden are preparing for the show and many are excited for this opportunity to share their art with the community.

“The excitement of knowing that people are going to see my art is the best part of this experience for me,” sophomore contributor Lexi Oran said. “I expect to see a lot of young people who are interested in art going around with their friends and having a good time.”