TAMA — When you walk the hallways of South Tama County High School, what you’ll notice above all else is the art proudly displayed on a table next to the front office, lining the concrete walls and even adorning the windows of teachers’ classrooms.
This is the work of Art Club. This group of aspiring young artists meets every Wednesday after school in the paint art room to work on both personal and community projects. Recently, Art Club students were commissioned by teacher Emily Chima and the student council to paint and decorate large Velcro patches to be attached to bags that will be given to children in foster care.
The project, started by the student council last year, works with a group called Foster Love to give kids these “sweet cases,” which are bags for kids in the foster care system with a teddy bear, blanket and a few other items inside.
This is far from the first community-based assignment these students have been involved with. It started last year by painting parking lines next to the Tama Civic Center; artists then moved on to customizing teacher windows.
The opportunity to paint windows for local establishments fills STC students with enthusiasm.
“We really want to step up more and work with other businesses, do murals,” said Art Club Vice President Liliana Espinoza.
The goal of the current Art Club administration, under President Ciela Ornelas, is to leave an organization that will continue for years to come. From the experienced hands of the upperclassmen to the young blood of the freshmen who will carry on the club’s traditions in just a few years, the Art Club is a diverse collection of students.
The diverse works these young talents create are a testament to their unique personalities and experiences; the diverse assortment of art scattered throughout the halls of the high school shows that each child is loudly expressing their artistic freedom. This is clearly shown to the world on the club’s Instagram page @stc.art.club, managed by member Ariana Herrera.
As part of the club’s latest efforts to reach out to the community, Lincoln Savings Bank approached the club about possibly creating an art gallery for the business lobby. Additionally, in recent years, Toledo State Bank has funded calendars that feature student artwork. Art Club members will also be at this year’s Lincoln Highway Bridge Festival to paint the faces of attendees.
Most recently, the Art Club was asked to lend their talents to RAGBRAI. Twenty signs are to be made by the students of South Tama to mark the one hundred acre campsite that the cyclists will use this summer.
From the duffel bags to the RAGBRAI signs, the most obvious thing about STC Art Club students is their fervor to make a lasting impression. With numerous startups and projects yet to come to fruition, these kids want to make a positive impact on the community. So far, these young artists are doing just that, one person at a time.