Four artists to visit Tyrrell schools

Published 4:57 pm Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Tyrrell County Schools will host four visiting artists this fall, Dr. Travis Twiford, interim superintendent, announced August 24.

The series will begin with a three-day residency by singer-songwriter Billy Jonas on September 25-27. He will perform for all three schools and will conduct songwriting workshops with several student groups at Columbia High School.

“Mr. Jonas is known for his wonderfully creative songs that get young people involved during the performances,” said Dr. Twiford.

This residency is funded by a Grassroots grant from the North Carolina Arts Council and by Tyrrell County Schools.

Mural painter Tunde Afolayan will return to the Columbia Middle-High School campus the week of October 1-5 for a five-day residency with students in Ms. LaPlante’s art classes.

The goal of his residency is for students to learn how to work collaboratively and use visual arts elements to create an image to convey a theme. The outcome will take the form of mural panels to be displayed in the Student Life Center.

Afolyan has worked with Tyrrell students twice in the past. Colorful murals painted during his previous workshops can be seen hanging in the halls of Columbia High School.

This residency was made possible by support from the North Carolina Arts Council through their Grassroots Arts grant program.

Author and poet Stu Kestenbaum and visual artist

Susan Webster, both from Deer Isle, Maine, will visit Columbia High School in Ms. Elliott’s English II classes on October 9-10.

Kestenbaum is a poet laureate in Maine and a former director of the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts.  Webster is an artist and noted printmaker. They will be in residence at Pocosin Arts during the month of October.

“We are grateful that these artists have offered to donate their time and talent to our students,” said Dr. Twiford. “Also, we would like to thank Pocosin Arts for supporting our schools through the planning and coordination of this visit.”

Poet Phillip Shabazz is returning this year to work with 6th and 7th grade ELA classes on writing.  Shabazz has written several books for young people and continues to be one of the school system’s most requested visiting artists.

This workshop is funded by Tyrrell County Schools.

“We would like to thank Pocosin Arts for providing lodging for our visiting artists at their Riverside Lodge downtown,” Dr. Twiford commented. “We’re looking forward to an exciting season with these amazing visiting artists.”

Tyrrell Elementary and Columbia Middle schools

hosted open houses for the parents and community during the week before classes began. The staff of each school showcased their expectations for the new year. Each school had approximately 200 people to attend. Principals Michele Brickhouse and Dr. Michael Yancey said they were very pleased with the attendance and the kickoff to “a great school year.”

“We invite all of the community stakeholders to plan a visit to the schools this year and support our students,” Dr. Twiford said.