Student Maren Kilpatrick, 18, and dad Don Kilpatrick look at student art.

Student Maren Kilpatrick, 18, and dad Don Kilpatrick look at student art.

Photo by Donna Agusti


Aspiring artists craft their future

District celebrates ‘signing day’ for art students

By: Linda Shepard | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published April 29, 2019

 Groves High School senior Allie Unger will attend the Savannah College of Art and Design this fall.

Groves High School senior Allie Unger will attend the Savannah College of Art and Design this fall.

Photo by Donna Agusti

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BEVERLY HILLS — Groves High School senior Allie Unger said she spends about six hours a day painting, dedicatedly refining her skills before she enters the Savannah College of Art and Design in the fall.

“I am really interested in color,” she said. “I’m inspired by nature, other artists and color theory — seeing how colors affect someone’s mood. It is healing.”

Unger is currently completing a green monochromatic mural on a Groves wall.

“Kids pass by that mural every day and are taking in that green,” she said.     

Unger said she hopes to expand her skills and study abroad. She and 10 fellow Groves and Seaholm High School art students were celebrated during the annual art “signing day” April 23 at the Birmingham Public Schools administration building, recognizing students who have chosen to attend an art school or program after graduation.

Students and family members sampled cookies and lemonade while examining a wide variety of student-created work for the Senior Art Show in the administration building hallways.

“In a world that values science more than art, we want to honor them,” Seaholm High School Principal Kyle Hall said. “We want to acknowledge the value art has in our society. It is a joy to see the talents and variety of our students. We couldn’t be prouder. They are giving back to our culture.”

Hall said the students will be studying a range of art concentrations at a wide variety of colleges, and she quoted Albert Einstein, who said, “The greatest scientists are always artists as well.”

Kellie Vagts, a Seaholm art teacher, said she has enjoyed seeing artistic expression from her students, who, upon graduation, are finding their own voices.

“We start with the basics for a foundation,” Vagts said about her classes, “with painting, drawing and ceramics. Then we blossom out into digital arts, photographs, game design, animation, graphic design and fine arts.

“Birmingham (Public Schools) tries to give students a wide scope of options so they can find their passion,” Vagts said.

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