Looks Bright: Students bring glitter to RA

Published 12:12 am Saturday, January 30, 2016

RESERVE — Students from Riverside Academy in Reserve come together every year to turn paper-mâché, paint and glitter into colorful decorations that greet people at their Carnival Balls.

Huy Nguyen, a junior at Riverside Academy, was tasked with completing the bead streetcar.

Huy Nguyen, a junior at Riverside Academy, was tasked with completing the bead streetcar.

Riverside presented their Carnival Balls Jan. 22 and 23, with the Krewe Bord de L’eau enjoying two nights of fun in the school gymnasium.

With direction from coordinator Kerri Roussel, first timer Huy Nguyen and seasoned decorator Jamie Triche helped bring the Mardi Gras theme to life.

Roussel, who teaches fine arts survey, publication and journey to careers, said the decorations came out great this year.

“Lots of people put their time and effort and talents together,” she said. “Huy and Jamie came in on their own and spent many tireless hours with us, and they were determined to finish projects no matter what it took. They came in during off times, after work, free time during school and worked hard. These students are very intelligent, very determined and very dedicated.”

Nguyen, 18, a junior was tasked with completing the bead streetcar.

“At first I thought it would take a lot of work and it kind of scared me,” Nguyen said. “In the end, it worked out well, and it was kind of fun doing it. I think it took me a week or so, and I used well over 5,000 beads.”

The first timer said Roussel mentioned in class she needed help with the decorations.

“It took a lot of time, and sometimes it burned me out a little,” he said. “It also calmed me to just sit there and glue beads. I feel very relaxed seeing it finished and how well it looks. My favorite part was seeing how all of the colors mixed and came together on the car. At the very end, when all the pieces were done, I was amazed to see how everything was put together and how it all meshed into the theme.”

Triche, a 17-year-old senior, worked after school and sometimes after work to help with the decorations, some nights staying until 10 p.m.

“It’s a way to really show off the artistic ability that not only (Roussel) has but also the students who help her,” Triche said. “There are a lot of different roles, because there is so much to do. I helped with glitter, painting, mod podging things, helping to build stuff and set everything up in the gym. I normally start helping around the beginning of December.”

Triche said she keeps helping each year with the decorations because she has become more interested in the arts. By helping, she gets to show off her talents.

“Its really fun,” she said. “You get to work with a bunch of different people. Once you see everything put up in the gym, it’s really refreshing to see everything come together and be so beautiful. A lot of people have had positive responses to the decorations. Once they realize how much hard work was put into it, I think they appreciate it a lot more.”

The senior said she didn’t work on one particular piece, but helped with almost all of them, adding if there was glitter or paint on a piece, she did it.

“My favorite part about the whole thing is seeing everything come together,” Triche said. “It’s really rewarding to be able to do it and say, ‘I’ve helped them put this together for the past seven years.’”