Dekko grant gives Athens students opportunity to support artists at East Limestone

By  | April 11, 2018 | Filed under: News

Zachary McLemore working on an art project at East Limestone

ATHENS-The Dekko Foundation is funding an Athens Arts League project that will challenge Athens students to support artists at East Limestone High School.


The Art Dekko grant for $2,900 will fund hands-on art education by providing art supplies for the art survey class at East Limestone, and a reception for the art students. Athens Arts League started offering art classes at East a year ago.


“We can see that you are working hard to offer young people great opportunities through the arts,” the Dekko Foundation’s approval letter stated.


During the 2018-19 school year, volunteers from Athens Arts League and its incubator High Cotton Arts will provide art instruction twice a month to approximately 35 East Limestone students per semester. The students will create projects with drawing, acrylic paints and mixed media while learning about the cubist style, folk art and other art forms.


Athens Arts League will exhibit a variety of their work in the student studio at High Cotton Arts. In the spring of 2019, the Athens Mayor’s Youth Commission, comprised of high school students from Athens High School, Athens Bible School, Lindsay Lane Christian Academy and home school students, will oversee planning and hosting a public reception for the East Limestone art students.


“This art project gives students from East Limestone the opportunity to experience creating and exhibiting art, and the Mayor’s Youth Commission an opportunity to experience planning an event and supporting students from a county school,” said Athens Arts League Vice President Diane Lehr, who wrote the grant.


East Limestone Band Director Jennifer Janzen, who teaches the art survey class, said she does not have funding for her program or much experience as a visual arts teacher.


“Kids need a way to express themselves,” she said. “Art is a way for them to put on paper the thoughts and emotions they do not know how to express with words. The Athens Arts League program gives these kids a chance to get instruction that will spark an interest for the rest of their lives. If it weren’t for programs like this, my students would not get that chance.”


Athens Arts League’s mission is to support artists, provide art education, and bring cultural events to Athens and Limestone County.


“This project funded by Art Dekko highlights each aspect of our mission,” said Athens Arts League board member Holly Hollman. “We are supporting student artists by providing supplies, instruction and exhibit space. We are providing art education by bringing artists into the classroom to help students create art and learn about different art forms. We are bringing a cultural event to the community by working with the Athens Mayor’s Youth Commission to host a public reception for these artists.”

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