Teachers from Jamaica attending the Jamaica-WCU Program created original works of art before returning to their native country this past summer. The eight 4’x8’ panels representing a rhyme from the Jamaican national anthem will be on display all year. Four are on the ground floor of Hunter Library and four are at the Cordelia Camp Building on campus.
The art works were part of a class assignment for the Jamaican students, who were
attending classes as part of a summer program designed for them that leads to baccalaureate
degrees in education from WCU. They were enrolled in Art 363, Art for Teachers, taught
by Dr. Erin Tapley, associate professor of art.
In a collaborative project, Tapley and Alessia Zanin-Yost, reference librarian and visual and performing arts liaison, planned a series of assignments for the students involving doing research in the library and culminating in a finished project. Sessions they attended in the library focused on information, visual, and media literacy. They used books they found while exploring the library to inspire their creativity. For the panels they created, the students used string, rocks, sand, and other found objects, including snippets of their own hair.
“We hope this experience and the process of combining the study of theory with hands-on research will inspire in this new generation of teachers and principals how to connect research with the visual arts. Most of all, they have learned that even a simple project should be researched,” said Zanin-Yost. “And now the campus community has an original work of art by our Jamaican students to enjoy all year long.”