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BGHS students help Black Swamp run its course

Skye Sloane, The Daily Bobcat Staff Writer

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Every second weekend of September, the Bowling Green community comes together to put on the Black Swamp Arts Festival, a three-day, completely volunteer-run celebration of the arts, and this year, like many in the past, Bowling Green High School students played a significant role in helping the event run its course.

According to the festival’s website, almost 800 volunteers are involved with the event annually, and by art club officer Kelly Hayden’s estimate, almost 100 of those were high school students this year.

Of these 100 students, most of them aided at the Kiwanis Youth Arts area, a section of the festival aimed at children, which traditionally includes activities like tie-dying and hat-making. This year, however, students also had opportunities to volunteer at stations focusing on subject matter, like figures and portraits.

Junior and art club officer Natalie Avery, who volunteered at the hat-making station, credited some of her interest in volunteering to positive experiences with the festival in her past.

“I always liked making hats (at Black Swamp) when I was little,” she said. Avery also noted Black Swamp as “the best time of the year.”

Additionally, two groups from the high school entered the BG Rotary Chalk Walk, a four-hour high school art competition wherein teams of students create artworks in the style of “I Madonnari” (an Italian street art technique). The three winners of the competition earn money for their school’s art department.

This year, third place went to one of the teams from BGHS, consisting of juniors Jordan Ely and Rona Mejiritski. This won the BGHS art department $100.

“The theme (of the Chalk Walk) is water, so our design is centered around water,” Ely explained at the event.

Mejiritski working on her team's chalk walk entry.

Mejiritski working on her team’s chalk walk entry.

The design, pictured above, incorporated “bubbles and a lot of the color blue,” as Mejiritiski noted. It also included a species native to the area: the yellow spotted salamander.

And just as the salamander is unique to the area, the Black Swamp’s artistic draws and large amount of community involvement create an environment that keeps adults and students alike coming back on a yearly basis.

“It’s a great way for us at the high school to give back to the community,” Hayden asserted.

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The student news site of Bowling Green High School
BGHS students help Black Swamp run its course