Three on the Road is at Puckett High School today for the art program. Every school used to have art years ago, but that’s not the case anymore. Most of the time art is dropped because it is too expensive.
Well, Puckett High School has benefited from keeping art alive in their school. For one thing, the school has a landscaped garden designed and built by the art students. And it was out in that garden we found some volunteers passing along some of their knowledge.
It’s not a typical day today for Chuck Rhoads art classes at Puckett High School in Rankin County.
Today we have what we call a painter’s garden," said Chuck. "We have Mississippi artists out in the gardens painting to showcase their style and technique. Also, it gives the students the opportunity to ask and talk to the artist."
The garden the artists are setting up in is a part of the art courses, too, landscaping. Sean Pearce has taken landscaping for three years. He understands the need for the garden being here instead of just a grassy patio.
"‘Cause it draws people in when they come by and they can see it from the road," said Sean. "And it makes you feel good just to see it."
Even landscape artists are involved with students today telling their experience, like Bobby Joe Stribling.
Ferns aren’t the most beautiful flower in the woods," said Stribling. "But they make other plants that bloom look very good."
And maybe that’s the purpose of art classes. In some opinions, they aren’t the most necessary classes in the curriculum, but art sure helps the rest of them make more sense.
"Your history, your math, your science also your language arts," said Chuck. "All these combined together, art is the glue, I would say, for them all."
First Lady Deborah Bryant visited the art garden at Puckett and she says,
"Chuck Rhoads does such a tremendous job with these children in bringing out their creativity," said the First Lady. "You know, sometimes children can’t find their niche but they’re so artistic. You know some children Chuck has brought out by expressing themselves through art and how its made a difference in their life and gives them confidence and gives them a more positive outlook."
A positive outlook? Finding one’s place? Isn’t that a great part of what you want for a student to have achieved by the time they graduate high school?
Art, especially in Chuck Rhoads’ class, makes that kind of difference.
There is a display of Puckett High School art at the New Capitol right now. And Friday, there will be a special awards day there for the annual Puckett Capitol Art Awards.