National Arts Honors Society: Keeping School Art Scene Active   


Gina Cellino

Breaking Artistic Boundaries: The school’s National Arts Honors Society is not letting a remote-education environment keep it from being engaged with its mission. Society President Jillian Dacey is one of the many officers and leaders who are keeping things together — and keeping art active at North Atlanta.

Growing up you are always told to look at but not touch art. The National Art Honors Society is learning to apply the same principles to the club in the current online learning environment. Adjusting the club to a virtual setting has been anything but easy. Fortunately faculty advisers Rachel Sturgess and Allison Shepard, along with their clubs’s student leaders, have not backed down from the challenge. This impressive student leadership team includes President Jillian Dacey, Vice President Ellie Evans, Treasurer Caitlin Burch, Secretary Lily Jones and Social Media Manager Margaux Wade.

Current pandemic-related North Atlanta rules dictate that no clubs are allowed to meet in person, meaning that replacements are having to be found for the traditional activities and meetings. This adjustment has called for much more administrative work on behalf of the faculty advisers. 

One hallmark of the National Art Honors Society is the Sunflower Project. The Sunflower Project allows students to use their artwork to reachout to their peers. Art exchanges are held with a sunny disposition to brighten the day of North Atlanta students. “The Sunflower project is a program we use to uplift other students and try to brighten up their day,” said Dacey. 

The National Art Honors Society operates on a point system. Points are earned from art-related activities completed by the members. Activities like visiting an art museum, art shows, or participating in the Sunflower project are ways in which to earn points. 

Club leaders have gotten creative to find ways for students to earn points remotely. One example is Free Art Fridays. In previous years, students would hide their art around the North Atlanta campus and post pictures with clues to the location for other students to find. This year, students are encouraged to distribute their art throughout the city, then send a picture and clue to instagram for their peers to find.

The club has taken largely to social media in an effort to keep North students engaged and informed during remote times. The club’s Instagram page will feature the work of its members for their peers to see and appreciate. Another page will be dedicated to the Free Art Friday challenge. “Social Media has become a crucial part of promoting the club and communicating with members,” said Wade.  “It’s been extremely helpful in the absence of in-person  meetings.”  

Communication issues are a major concern this year, with many new members that have yet to step foot onto the North Atlanta campus. However, the Arts Honors Society leaders are determined to do right by the club and its members. “We are motivated and want to see this club succeed and pass it onto next year,” said Burch. 

Thanks to the efforts of officers of the National Art Honors Society, in these Zoom School days a growing and flourishing art scene is no mere virtual reality.