A group of dedicated and talented young artists are making Newburyport High School a little more colorful and vibrant place to study and learn these days, as part of a new initiative geared towards celebrating the arts.
More than 30 of Newburyport High School students have been busy painting murals throughout the high school, to greet visitors to the main office and library -- and that’s only one of the many tasks completed by the Newburyport High School chapter of the National Art Honor Society
Similar to the National Honor Society, the organization celebrates a student’s accomplishments, scholarship -- and artistic abilities. Advised by NHS art teachers Aileen Maconi, Mary Rakoski and Kim Salathe, the school’s chapter is only in its second year of existence and has grown from 20 members last year to this year’s total of 32.
The Art Society members must keep a B average in honors or advanced placement classes for the entire school year, maintain 2.0 cumulative average in all other subjects and meet strict criteria regarding attendance, academic achievement, citizenship and community service.
“It is absolutely amazing,” Salathe said. “It’s an honor to work with them and help them accomplish the things that they are passionate about.”
Also on the list of accomplishments for the NAHS this year has been to create and donate art for a silent auction to benefit the Leukemia Society, and running two galleries inside the high school to exhibit both student and professional works. The students have also worked with the Newburyport Art Association to build stronger connections between the students and artists in the city.
“We want this Honor Society to be open and available for any student at Newburyport High School,” said Salathe. “However, we’re looking for passion, quality, and that’s what we really have a hit on this year. It’s only our second year into it, and already what we are discovering is the incredible quality and the character of the students, their artistic abilities and their desire to make themselves a part of this community in a way that is meaningful.”