The Anderson Arts Center along with a grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission, Arts in Education Project was able to secure a grant for providing an Arts program to students placed at the Anderson County Alternative School. Working with the Director of the Alternative School, Randolph Dillingham, and representing a school which houses 120 (at capacity) expelled, court placed, and troubled students the Arts Center has been able to provide arts instruction one day a week for 90 minutes at the Arts Warehouse. The students under the guidance of artists/teachers Tracy Weiss, Joshua Davis, and Kim Bowen, have gone from little or no art experience to producing quality pieces of artwork. The students recommended by their classroom teachers are chosen for participation based on interest, attendance, behavior, leadership, and responsibility. For these students a trip to the Arts Center, many of which is their first time inside a facility such as this, and the opportunity to learn a new skill set has been an empowering process.
The students attend dressed in uniform and with the expectation to represent themselves with character, dignity, and class. To watch them engage in learning to sketch and draw with charcoal, graphite, or ink, use a potter's wheel to throw their clay and then form vessels of all shapes and sizes, and to use watercolor in new and interesting ways has been an emotional and wonderful experience. The pride shown on their faces says it all. Throughout this school year we have begun to see the makings of some wonderful artists.
This program is only in its infancy. The artists/teachers along with the Program Coordinator are constantly looking for new ways to engage a population of students who would otherwise be left behind. It is our hope to see a program such as this take hold in the community and expand in the years to come.
Anderson Arts Center | 110 Federal Street | Anderson SC 29625 | 864.222.2787 | fax 864.716.3840
Gallery & Office Hours | Tuesday through Friday | 9:30am to 5:30pm