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January 2, 2014
THS art show to help students understand how art reflects history

Jazz dance and American folksongs will echo through the halls of Tooele High School as art students display their talents in the fourth annual Professional Learning Community Visual and Performing Art Show.

Scheduled for next Wednesday, Jan. 8, the theme for the 2014 show is “History Through the Arts.”

“The idea is to help students make a connection between art and history,” said Chris Wilcox, fine arts teacher at THS.

Wilcox assigned his pottery students to research a period of history and make a piece of pottery from the time period they studied.

Pottery work that will be on display includes pieces from a variety of time periods including ancient Egypt and Greece.

The free art show runs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Pottery, paintings, drawings, and photography will be on display in THS’s main entrance and commons area.

The show choir and band will perform in the commons area at 5:30 p.m. and will repeat their performance at 6:30 p.m.

The band’s woodwind group will play a renaissance piece and Civil War tunes, and the brass group will play a Civil War medley, and the woodwind group will play Civil War WW.

The show choir will sing “Rocky Top,” a bluegrass piece with a fiddle group, the American folk song “Colorado Trail,” and “Ho Ho Watanay,” an Iroquois Indian lullaby.

In the auditorium, dance, drama, and chamber string students will perform at 6 p.m. and again at 7 p.m.

The auditorium performances will include dance students performing the Lindy Hop, a 1920’s jazz dance that is often credited with starting the swing dance era. They will also perform a Tahitian dance.

Also, drama student Shannon Lorton will sing “Missing You,” from “Civil War: An American Musical,” and Amy Gebs will perform a monologue of a personal family history narration. The chamber strings will play “Bill Bailey.”

The idea for the interdisciplinary art show started in 2011. It grew out of a professional learning community meeting of the art department, according to Wilcox.

“We got together and were supposed to collaborate on ways to increase students’ learning,” he said. “And we came up with the idea of showing the relationship of art to other subjects that students study.”

Professional learning communities are part of an educational improvement movement. It includes collaboration time for teachers to work in groups and use data about student performance and research-based best practices to increase student performance.

PLC collaboration time is separate from teacher planning time, which is used by individual teachers to develop lesson plans and prepare materials for daily use in the classroom.

This the second PLC art show with a history theme. Past PLC art shows have featured literature through arts and art with world languages.

“The idea was to help students see that art isn’t just a separate subject,” said Wilcox. “But to understand how art reflects history.”

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