Art from every student brightened the halls of Mystic Middle School

Art from every student brightened the halls of Mystic Middle School


Mystic Middle School Students participated in a school-wide, hall-wide art show earlier this month - the first time in the history of the school there was an art show. The young artists displaying their work are LuLu Heublein, left, with her painting 'Into the Deep,' Elena Korinek with her untitled piece, Madison Wing with her painting 'Sky High,' and Elias Dahl with his painting 'Vibrant Toucan.' Thursday, June 15, 2017.| Harold Hanka, The Westerly Sun

STONINGTON — When Lulu Heublein had something to say about what ocean trash is doing to sea life, she took to canvas paper and colored pencils.

The 14-year-old drew a view from the bottom of the ocean: a large, colorful squid surrounded by debris, garbage and an injured shark.

“You can express your emotions through art,” Lulu, an eighth-grader at Mystic Middle School who comes from a family of artists, said. “If you don’t have anything to say out loud, you can draw it and send your message through it. I wanted to show what humans are doing to the sea — fish are getting deformed and trash is everywhere.”

Lulu’s artwork was one of 400 pieces displayed throughout the school’s main hallway and library during what officials said was the first art show of its kind at Mystic Middle earlier this month.

Every student was represented in the show, first-year art teacher Jessica Monahan said, and the galleries also featured work from Mystic Middle’s Art Club and Unified Arts.

“We had a broad range of artwork,” Monahan said. “Self-portraits, still life drawings and even sculptures. A show like this is really important for the students and brings them a sense of pride.

“Many art projects at this age don’t ever make it home. The show gave students the chance to show what they’ve done and their parents a chance to see it.”

Each grade at Mystic Middle focused on a type of art throughout the year, Monahan said. Art is a required subject for fifth- through eighth-graders.

“I like the fact that I can express how I’m feeling in my artwork,” eighth-grader Madison Wing, 13, said. “If I’m happy, I can draw with vibrant colors. If I’m sad, well, not so much. You can draw whatever is on your mind. It’s an outlet.”

Mystic Middle’s art show drew large numbers of students and parents and provided a place where prints of some of the students’ artwork were sold.

“The students got excited,” Monahan said. “They enjoyed showing their friends.”

School officials hope the art show can be an annual event.

“I really like art because it can protect certain ideas that you have,” eighth-grader Ellie Korinek, 14, said. “It was nice to share what we’ve been working on with everyone.”

Added eighth-grader Elias Dahl, 13: “Everyone has a different perspective on things, and it was a time to see all of those different perspectives and ideas.”

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