With a new school year under way, Ketchikan students in grades 10 to 12 are invited to join the National Arts Honor Society. Ellowyn Beimler is president of the Kayhi chapter. She says members share a love of art and a desire to help the community.
“We do bits of art to put in the Pioneer Home and long-term care. We put stuff to sell at the vets office for them to earn money, and a little bit of the money goes back to the artist.”
Residents of the Pioneers Home and long-term care selected pieces to decorate their rooms. Art sold at the veterinary clinic benefitted BARK animal rescue.
Beimler says this will be her first official year as part of NAHS, but she got involved mid-semester last year.
“I like the fact that it brings young artists together to talk about our ideas, to help out other people, to share ideas. I like that it’s a group of people my own age who have at least one similar interest to me.”
Louise Kern is the group’s advisor. She says she’s there to make suggestions and help, but allows members to run the club and make decisions. She says NAHS not only provides art fellowship and community service, but scholarship opportunities.
“Most of them are for art schools rather than general scholarships, but they can apply for those. In our very first year, Spring Moon then, now Spring Barry, she and Jeanette Sweetman are the people who started the group in Ketchikan, she won a $20,000 scholarship to The Art Institute (of Seattle), because she’s talented and she got this going, partly, I think, so she could apply to that.”
Kern says to be eligible to join, students have to have completed at least one semester of high school art and have an overall grade point average of at least two-point-five.
“And we have artists who don’t quite get there and we say, ‘Come hang with us anyway. We want you.’ And some of those kids have cared enough to get their grade point average up so they can join. And that’s a great thing too.”
The Ketchikan chapter is currently the only chapter in Alaska.
The Kayhi NAHS held its induction ceremony on October 23rd, but students still can join and get involved.
Link to NAHS website: https://www.arteducators.org/community/nahs-njahs
Link to Kayhi NAHS page: http://www.kgbsd.org/domain/483