NAHS takes on ambitious projects, maintains proud tradition

Maya Rioux

The halls of Bearden echo with lessons on famous battles, classic novels, and scientific discoveries. In an unassuming hallway at the end of the building, next to the gymnasium, lessons are taught about artists – their techniques, their masterpieces – who changed the course of history as much as Lincoln or Steinbeck. National Art Honor Society (NAHS), a group dedicated to these art masters’ creative values, is as much a core class as those that end at the final bell. Every Monday after school for an hour or so, NAHS meets to discuss upcoming events. There are no idle meetings for this society of artists. NAHS is too active in the community for an hour and 30 minutes devoted to calm sketching. “Our meetings are mainly business meetings to say this is what we’re doing,” said Mrs. Flowerree Galetovic, sponsor of National Art Honor Society. “Next week we will produce it, or next week we will meet at this location.” The NAHS calendar for the holiday season is booked. The members will paint furniture for an auction for the Cancer Support Community, and help set up holiday decorations at a nursing home. The rest of the year’s agenda promises to be just as busy, with member appearances at the Dogwood Arts Festival Chalk Walk and Kids Art Fest downtown in April. Heather McNamara, President of NAHS, takes the most pride in her crusade for the society’s involvement in the Fantasy of Trees event. This year, McNamara coordinated the embellishment of a tree with tiny oval ornaments, each hand-painted with a masterpiece artwork by members. “I was shocked because they were done so amazingly, and it’s kind of cool just to start that,” McNamara said. “Hopefully they will continue doing it. “I’m proud of that because that was the first year we had done it in a long time.” In 1978, Bearden art teacher Marilyn Heilman pushed for the creation of a society for the art department. The Bearden NAHS became Chapter One when the National Art Education Association decided to begin the program for 10th through 12th graders. The program is now national with 2,971 chapters. Requirements for joining NAHS are like those of Key Club or Student Government Association – with at least a B average or above and as few meetings missed as possible to stay involved. The newly inducted members wouldn’t have NAHS any other way. “I think it’s a really good thing that I joined because it gets whoever is in the club out into the community,” new member Zoe Richters said. “We really learn how to apply art to everyday life.” Galetovic can take pride in the practical yet creative mark NAHS has made on the Bearden student population — a mark housed in hallways walked by future scholars, athletes, and artists alike. Maya Rioux is a staff writer for The Bark. Follow The Bark on Twitter @BeardenBARK, and like The Bark (Bearden High School) on Facebook.