Whitehall Yearling arts fest ranges from jazz to wrap

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Nick Wascher (right) stands next to his plastic wrap and packing tape creation at the Whitehall Community Arts Festival March 19. Also picture is friend Dio Milligan. According to art instructor Kelly Solack, the students did the sculptures to bring more awareness of their environment. Nick is a junior who plans to enlist in the army when he graduates in 2009 prior to attending art college. "Salute" honors American soldiers. The sculptures were inspired by Mark Jenkins Storker’s project, Baby Dolls.
Whitehall Yearling High School English teacher Dreama Holmes belts out "Jumpin’ East of Java," accompanied by the school’s jazz ensemble, including Russell McPherson on keyboards and Christopher Herrmann on guitar, during the school’s annual arts festival.

Whitehall Yearling High School gymnasium was the backdrop for the Community Art Festival on March 19. Creative works of art, and a continuous line-up of entertainment turned much hard work and learning into a memorable event.

Art teacher Kelly Solack said that she was pleased and proud of the efforts by students and teachers. She did not want the event to be just a school function, but one that the entire community would enjoy, and be able to experience the great talent of local school children.

One crowd pleaser was a series of sculptures crafted from plastic wrap and packing tape.

Solack explained that she had an industrial size roll of the wrap, and asked the students to think of a way to turn it into an art form. They did, indeed. Inspired by sculptor Mark Jenkins Storker’s project, Baby Dolls, they chose to do something that was related to their environment. Solack called them "awareness pieces."

They wrapped each other’s arms, legs and torsos in the clingy material, and carefully cut the wrap away, piecing it together with the packing tape. They used skull forms for the heads.

Attendees stopped to add stitches to the community quilt Solack has been taking around the city to schools and anywhere she can to make it a true community effort.

English teacher Dreama Holmes, wowed the crowd by singing "Jumpin’ East of Java" with the high school’s jazz ensemble.

The Ramettes drill team and the step team performed dance routines. A particular favorite by the step team was the African Boot Dance.

Topping off the entertainment portion of the festival, theatre students acted scenes from their upcoming musical, "Footloose."

The show also included photography, pop art, ink, paintings, ceramics, pencil and watercolors, logo designs, collages, optical illusion, papier mache masks and Mandalas (circular religious art).

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