Weaver Academy students exhibit artwork at the Greensboro Visual Artists Center

GREENSBORO, NC (WGHP) – High school students prepare to graduate. When they do, they’ll take fond memories of their high school days with them.

But a group of students from Weaver Academy in Greensboro have a very special memory they can put on their resume. Their works are exhibited at the Center for Visual Artists in Greensboro. The art gallery usually features the work of professional artists looking to make a name for themselves.

For these students to be able to exhibit their artwork in the gallery is an opportunity they say they can only dream of. Senior Mira Sowinski said she found it “very weird because we do it, we hang it up and we are part of the whole process. And then we see it at the end, and it looked like our show anywhere. As with famous people like Van Gogh. It’s hanging on a wall and people are looking at it and it’s very weird. It feels really good.

This was made possible thanks to their art teacher, Kelsey Gagnon-Matthews. “It’s actually my fourth year at Weaver. So this senior class is very important to me because it’s my first group. It’s gone from freshman year to senior year.

And they survived the covid pandemic together, where she became her students’ greatest cheerleader.

“Ms. Gagnon is amazing with this stuff,” senior Zainab Adamou-Mohamed said. “She listened to me talk about all my fears and anxieties about deciding what my major would be. She and Mr. Kozart, our other art teacher, have been very instrumental in securing design and art related jobs, as it can be scary to get into a major or a career in art. They make it feel so much easier, give us the resources we need, the guidance we need, and the encouragement we need to pursue our dreams.

Leah Travis agrees. “She helped me so much with the college process, trying to find scholarships, which schools are the best, what will be best for the program you want to go to with extracurricular stuff. She gave us many opportunities for volunteering, work, internships, etc.

Part of that process was putting together a portfolio of their work for their AP art finals and college admissions.

She treats her classroom like a working art studio. So when it came time to exhibit the students’ work, she made sure it was also a learning experience.

“It was really important for me to make sure they were involved in every aspect,” Gagnon-Matthews said. “So obviously they did the job. We prepared the work and then they came with us. Went on a walking tour, we snagged the artwork. We had lunch together, all these seniors who have been together for four years. It’s just been a really tight time for them. Being able to see their family and friends, especially after a few years of COVID and not having so many school events to see their work, come and celebrate them was really wrapped up.

It is an event they will remember for a long time.

Briana R. Cross