Each spring, Montford Middle School’s art teacher Donald Sheppard invites community artists to participate in an annual Art Day event. Local painters, sculptors, photographers, and graphic artists descend on the school’s media center to display examples of their artworks and the materials used to create them.
Class by class, every sixth, seventh, and eighth grader tours the space and spends time with each artist, discussing their work, creative process and inspirations.
This time-honored tradition was originally conceived in 1984 by retired art teacher Al Williams. Over the years, Williams nurtured young artists at several schools and, no matter where he taught, Art Day was part of the curriculum.
Eleven years ago, Sheppard took over the Montford art room when Williams retired and nothing, not even a global pandemic, will stand in the way of Sheppard carrying on the Art Day legacy.
This year the event had to be completely reimagined. Sheppard confessed “the new normal was making it seemingly impossible to have this event but I figured if there was a way for students to learn remotely, there must be a way for Art Day to happen. If the students can Zoom in every day, why can’t the artists Zoom in?”
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