Cleveland high school showcases student art, talents during Black Excellence Program

Published: Feb. 25, 2022 at 7:40 AM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Art captures history in unique ways.

For the last several weeks, students at Glenville High School have been working on a visual and performing arts showcase as part of a celebration of Black History Month.

They’re calling it the Black Excellence Program.

“Art allows you to tell a story. Sometimes, with our students, they may not be as verbally expressive, but when you give them the range to do what it is that they feel comfortable doing they’re able to develop that story and that character for themselves,” said Tamara Barkley, an educator at Glenville High School. “It’s just an outlet. It’s a safe haven.”

Julie McNulty is Glenville High School’s art teacher. She said fostering positivity and self-love is the overarching goal.

Barkley added, “To encourage students not only to recognize their talents and successes of those who’ve come before them, but also to inspire them! That they too are capable. That they too are destined for greatness. They are Black excellence.”

Paintings, drawings, photographs and other art mediums will be on display throughout the school. Students also will be presenting poems, singing and dancing.

Nyarie Taylor submitted several photographs for the showcase.

“With every photograph you take, it’s practice,” Taylor said.

Her philosophy is simple.

“Just capture the greatest moments in life,” Taylor said.

She credits Ms. McNulty for sparking her interest in photography.

“She kind of planted that seed for me. She taught me the basics, and I kind of grew with it and kind of got the hang of it. Every picture I captured, I grew with it.”

Lavonna Carter submitted a paper mâché project for the showcase.

“One of the things I was inspired by was the Zulu tribe, the African Zulu Tribe,” Carter said. “I was inspired by the many colors and shapes and different patterns. With the women, depending on their status, they would wear different colors and different patterns and that kind of stood out to me.

Carter’s creation features a braid which ties into an issue that’s front-and-center in the Black community.

“I made a braid, because I love to do hair. And, I love to see Black women rock their natural hair- be comfortable and confident wearing their natural hair.”

The student body and their parents are invited to the Black Excellence Program which is Friday beginning at 2 p.m.

Taylor and her peers are ready to show and tell.

“Everything you can create, I feel like everybody should have an opportunity to see it.”

She’s already a paid artist and can’t wait to continue

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