The art of self expression

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 23, 2011



LAPLACE – Inspired by the work of famous artists — and some of their own everyday interests — art students from East St. John High School showed off a year’s worth of expressions Wednesday evening at the school’s annual art exhibition.

The school’s library was packed with everything from large floor-to-ceiling murals to smaller scale paper-mache models as part of the exhibition that featured about 40 students involved in the school’s Visually Talented Arts Program.

Art teacher Carol Jane Myers explained that each student, at the beginning of the year, settled on a theme their individual art would revolve around. They were challenged with using that theme in each piece throughout the year.

“One assignment was to choose an animal to represent them,” Myers said. “In another assignment, students picked a particular interest that would carry on as a theme. The students then explored different art movements while keeping with their chosen themes.”

For Brad Cook, 18, a senior at East St. John, that theme was music and zombies. Cook was selected as one of the overall winners.

“The zombie theme was just a fascination I have always had,” said Cook, who is moving on to LSU in the fall. “The theme became something that allowed me to really showcase my talents. I’m proud of the work I’ve accomplished.”

Meanwhile, fellow senior Dasjohn Jordan showcased a large paper-mache sculpture that combined work he had done in the past. Jordan said the abstract piece signified the media influence on body and mind.

“The hardest part for me was explaining my thoughts without words,” Jordan said. “The sculpture forms a body and the different photos signify the various good and bad influences.”

Jordan said he got into the VTAP program in second grade but didn’t start evolving until his freshman year of high school, when he was able to take full classes in art.

“It has shown me what I’m capable of and where I can take my talents,” said Jordan, who plans to attend LSU and eventually move on to NYU.

Myers said she could never compare one class to another because each class always brings something new and different to the program.

“There is always so much talent with these students,” Myers said. “They really embrace the art all year.”