Texas High students share powerful positivity
The 1894 City Market downtown hosts talented, creative and thoughtful Texas High School students Saturday as part of its Second Saturday Trade Days.
With the loss of two students and more going on, the Texas High community has weathered tough times recently. But several art projects have directed student energies to share a healing, positive energy, and they’ll be displayed during the trade days at the former Ritchie Grocery Building located at Front and Olive streets.
It’s part of a program called “Be the Light— The Power of Positivity” from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. That’s the theme. For one thing, some of the cast members of the Texas High production “Chemical Imbalance, a Jekyll and Hyde Play” will perform what they’re calling “tantalizing tidbits” of the play at 11 a.m. They’ll be there between 10 a.m. and noon.
Various forms of art created by the students will be displayed at the 1894 City Market, too. Texas High English teacher Michele Rigdon says the artwork will exhibit values that can make a positive impact in the world, qualities like kindness, patience, love, peace, faithfulness and more.
To that end, the students have worked on a “Be the Hero and Beacon of Hope” project to raise funds for people in need. As well, the theater program at Texas High will be raising funds to help a Houston school’s theater department, one affected by Hurricane Harvey.
“It’s a showcase of art, actually art in all forms,” Rigdon said. Visitors will be able to see blackout poetry, altered books and more.
Altered books exhibit the words of people from the past who, in their moment of crisis, were able to “be the light in that circumstance,” Rigdon said. They’re people like Elizabeth
Eckford, one of the Little Rock Nine students who fought for school desegregation.
The altered books come from a Holocaust and human rights class Rigdon taught at the high school. “These will be there, talking about light from the past,” Rigdon said, noting that although Texas High had a difficult start to the year, the students have found ways to lift themselves up.
“What can you do in a moment like this?” she said about responding to a heavy year.
Well, one thing that came about was a teacher-inspired effort to take sticky notes and put positive messages on them. It’s called the Kindness Cart, and it allows teachers and students to randomly share uplifting, encouraging words. A display of those notes will be part of the Saturday exhibit.
“These have been things that have sort of sparked in our own school as a result of what’s happened now,” Rigdon said.
Another part of the program is displaying student art that’s been created for the Friendship Center in Texarkana. It’s another example of Texas High students finding a way to give to others, using their artistic abilities.
“All of the art that will be created will be donated to this center,” Rigdon said.
The idea to bring students downtown to the City Market started this past summer when she visited the building. She’d like the building to get more attention.
This is a case of a local business supporting the students and, in turn, Texas High supporting a business that seeks to rejuvenate downtown, the English teacher said. It’s a community partnership.
The featured artist for this month’s Second Saturday Trade Days is Linda Larey.
(For more information, check out the 1894 Second Saturday Trade Days page on Facebook.)
“Be the Light—The Power of Positivity,” a project that includes drama and artwork done by Texas High School students, will be featured Saturday at the 1894 City Market building at Front and Olive streets.