GCSD Waves of Pride to be held March 30


By Dawn Hatfield


GREENVILLE — On Thursday, March 30, the Annual Waves of Pride and Art Expo will feature student artists and musicians from throughout the Greenville City School District. The event will be held at Greenville High School from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Parents, families, and community members are all invited to attend in celebration of the arts and local student achievements.

In addition to K-12 art displays, the GHS Orchestra, Wavaires, and Jazz Scene will provide live performances throughout the evening. A favorite of the night are always the senior showcases that portray years of artistic endeavors by students who are now within reach of graduation. Greenville Board of Education members will also judge art pieces and select “best in show” to be displayed at the Anna Bier Civic Room in St. Clair Memorial Hall.

Greenville Elementary visual arts teachers, Kelsey Ervin and Patrick Woehl, spoke with The Daily Advocate about the highly anticipated event. Ervin explained she sees her students for approximately 40 minutes each week, so Waves of Pride is a culmination of an entire year’s worth of projects. From their first project in October until the date of the art show, most students have five projects from which to choose their very best work. All students in Kindergarten through fourth grade will have at least one project on display with some students, whose efforts have gone “above and beyond,” earning extra spots on the display boards.

Ervin stated, “Not a lot of schools showcase student art to this caliber, and it definitely helps students care more about their artwork, making it more ‘official’ and instilling in them a bigger sense of pride.” Ervin recalled one student who recently said, “Man, it takes a lot of practice to be a good artist!” which is exactly what Ervin loves to hear. The focus here is on practice, which takes time, according to Ervin who relayed students have had a much more difficult time coping with [perceived] mistakes since the pandemic. To help students learn to “embrace a mistake” or “change it into something else,” Ervin often challenges her students to use Sharpies [permanent markers] as a medium.

Woehl echoed Ervin’s sentiments about the importance of offering a district-wide celebration of the arts. He said, “Waves of Pride is actually one of the things that sold me on Greenville back when I was interviewing,” noting how a simple frame displayed against dark paper with a name tag can make a large impact on a piece of art as well as on the artist. Woehl said they are also working to display more of the students’ artwork in the elementary building throughout the year as well. An exciting new recognition program, Artist of the Month, aims to cultivate student work ethic, manners, and growth mindset rather than simply the end product. Artists of the Month demonstrate qualities like “never giving up when a mistake is made; using their art manners when working by and with others; cleaning up their messes and helping others to do the same; and not rushing and trying their best while taking creative risks.”

With such a strong foundation in arts beginning at the elementary level, it is no wonder why guests are often left awestruck by the outstanding talent and work ethic demonstrated by students whose artwork is displayed and who perform live at the annual Waves of Pride.

Reach Daily Advocate Reporter Dawn Hatfield at [email protected] or 937-569-0066.

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