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Student Arts And History Showcase Explores Violence

Sophia McGoldrick, acrylic on canvas

Submitted by Evan Higgins —

OAKHURST — By the time someone in America has turned 18 they will have witnessed 16,000 television murders and 200,000 acts of television violence.

Violence can be emotional, verbal or physical and its victims can spend a lifetime coping with the wounds. It comes in the form of wars, it can be institutional, it can affect whole societies, and violence is always rooted in fear or hate. It is in our communities, across oceans, on our screens and yet we have become numb to violence.

We are capable as human beings of transcending our animalistic natures and bring pure goodness into the world. It is the hope of this interdepartmental showcase to shine a light on the problem of violence, take a moment of silence, pay attention, resensitize, and hopefully engage our viewers into active change.  

Yosemite High School Art Department will explore different ways that artists have confronted violence throughout history. Students will discuss, critically analyze these works,  consider their own intentions as artists, and create a work of art that responds to the general theme of violence.

Resensitized

On Tuesday, Mar. 27 at 6 p.m. the public is invited to a interdepartmental showing of student work, featuring contributions from YHS departments and classes including Art, Theater Arts, History, and Criminal Investigation. There is no cost to attend the event, held in the gallery at Yosemite High School.

Katrina Conklin, oil on canvas

Theater Arts department will present solo monologue performance by Maile Peterson. The piece is called “Star and Stripes,” and helps us remember that even good service can result in terrible pain and anguish.

The Theater Arts department is focusing on ways to use theater to improve mental health within our student community. Through skits, role playing activities and scenes that address violence, we hope to humanize senseless violence and help young people make positive, more peaceful choices. Since 2014, the Theater Arts Department has made contributions to the Marjorie Mason Center in Fresno that serves victims of domestic violence and abuse. We will continue to help their cause.

History department’s junior class is going to reflect on school violence in the light of current events. Students will write a poem, select a quote/song lyric that illustrates how they feel, writing a letter to a victim of the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, or create a work of art that confronts school violence .

Criminal Investigation will focus on violence against Law Enforcement Officers. Students will provide a visual interpretation of what the officers and families go through when an officer loses his life in the line of duty. They will present factual information that will offer new perspectives into the sacrifices made by law enforcement officers.

For more information, stop by the show or contact Yosemite High School.

Evan Higgins is Chair of the Art Department at Yosemite High School.

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