Hambright hosts 25th annual Fine Arts Day

Hambright Elementary School welcomed more than 20 artists to its classrooms Friday for the 25th annual Fine Arts Day.

Students in all grades participated in everything from African dancing to carving, quilting, photography and clay pot-making. Activities ran throughout the day and included workshops and assemblies, along with hands-on creative activities.

Junko Wright, dressed in a kimono, introduced students to origami paper-folding and traditional Japanese dance, while across the hall, Michael Clipman got a roomful of students and teachers to participate in a rousing drum circle. Elsewhere, students were learning how to tap dance, paint with watercolors and acrylics, carve a bar of soap into a fish and try their chops at acting, photography and storytelling.

Fine Arts Day was started in 1990 to give students a break from regular academics so they could focus exclusively on the arts. Professional artists from the local community were invited to conduct workshops and demonstrations, inspiring students to create their own works of art. Later, the format was expanded to include “artist observations,” in which students interact with the artists as they work on their own pieces. The event now also includes a literature component for younger students.

Over the years, more than 100 area artists have participated in Fine Arts Day, many of them for more than 15 years.

“It’s a great opportunity to celebrate the arts and, by far, my favorite day of the year,” said Hambright principal Jerry Egan.