If you have been in the Art wing of Peekskill High School, chances are you’ve noticed the latest addition to the hallway’s decor – a collage of painted squares that represents something very special. Entitled, “Shades of Hope/Unity,” the project embraces diversity and celebrates the essences of humanity that unite us all.
Peekskill High School art teachers Heather Brown and Elizabeth Tabone began the school year’s classes by discussing the role and impact that race and ethnicity can play in the art world. This was the conversation that inspired the latest collaborative work of art to come out of Peekskill High School.
“While remaining positive, it is a conversation that deserves attention and we felt as art teachers we owe it to our students to create a large scale collaborative piece based on each of our unique selves,” said Tabone.
For the project, students created a square of color which matched to their individual skin tone and attached it to a large canvas. The flesh toned mosaic will find its permanent home in the high school cafeteria once it is completed. In addition to each adding their own personal square, students also wrote a positive word to describe themselves on the canvas.
“We also were able to invite several teachers and administrators to take part in our collaborative art piece project, which helps create a sense of community and belonging while also showcasing our own individuality within the Peekskill community,” Tabone said.
In a description of the piece, composed by Peekskill High School art students, the young artists wrote:
“This project represents peace and bringing people together. It symbolizes how we are all different races and colors, but are equal, and the words that represent us make us similar. There is no color to teamwork, friendship or love.”
“We would like to thank the school and central administration for helping to take part in this piece, as well as the Art Department’s permanent sub, Miss Jessica Marrone for all of her help,” added Tabone.