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Visual Arts Epicenter

Page history last edited by Travis Gentry 3 years, 7 months ago

                The Visual Arts  Epicenter                 

where dreams and dreamers dwell as Kings & Queens Forever and Ever!


Being prepared for Art classes is important. Check out the Art Supplies list below and get ready for Art this year!


Data about arts courses: Art Brochure 2018.docx


Best Website to view art ever: http://www.googleartproject.com/


The Daily Scope          Art Supplies          Where the Wild Things Are       East Wilkes Art Club           Project Graduation


Mr. Gentry is the Visual Arts Teacher at East Wilkes High School.




Hot NEW Art Pages featuring student works

Spring semester has been a very busy time. The first quarter alone saw the creation of amazing artwork in the arena of public art. Our classes created a Ceramic Quilt and conducted a Recycle Awareness Sculpture Project (RASP) for display to raise awareness for recycling locally. Enjoy these two sites full of student works.

Ceramic Quilt 2010

Recycle Awareness Sculpture Program (RASP) 2010


The next art reception at the CO will be on March 1 at 5:00pm.


Here is the information I shared with you at the end of our meeting yesterday.


The Art Gallery Schools Exhibition will be March 15th-April 21st

Each school gets 15 pieces

All must be matted to 16 x 20 on mat board

Each student work will sell for $50.00

$20.00 will go to the student

$15.00 will go to the school

$15.00 will go to the Art Gallery

Must have artwork at Gallery on March 9th which is a workday…please stay and help put art

      under glass

There will be two openings:

Thurs., March 15 for Central/East Districts

Thurs., March 22 for North/West Districts

Each will be 5:30pm-7:00pm


High School Teachers-Art Gallery will provide a $1,000.00 scholarship to a graduating senior who is pursuing visual arts at either the community college/college or university level.



Why Mr. Gentry? Why did you get into Art Education?

This story is about change and it's effect on my life.


A very long time ago for my students, 1990-91 I attended Appalachian State University where I entered to earn a degree in Art Education. As I merrily studied along completing my course work as a 2nd semester sophomore who had transferred in from Surry Community College, a very big thing happened. The NEA, National Endowment for the Arts came under attack. The same funding source that helped supply the needed funds to operate the ASU Visual Arts department and most of the professors who taught my arts courses. Although the change of going away to college was major in my life, I could not have braced for what was about to happen next. My first semester was filled with education classes, as the arts cources were already filled with current students and the classes were season only orinted, with a level 1 in the fall and a level 2 in the spring; thus if you didn't get the level you needed in the fall, you would wait one year to take it next fall.


Here is the image that spurred the controversary that lead to my need to change majors.

Piss Christ by Andres Serrano, 1987 (National Endowment for the Arts)

Andres Serrano: Piss Christ 1987.


An excerpt from one of my old college art professors who was downsized in the post-Serrano art movement of the early 1990's: ''For me, there is one nagging issue about any Federal plan for the arts: artistic freedom and censorship. I was a young faculty member of an art department at a university in a conservative city when an exhibition of Andres Serrano's work, including the famous photograph of a crucifix in urine, spurred national controversy. Not long after a retrospective of Robert Mapplethorpe's work scheduled to open the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC was vociferously labeled as morally reprehensible trash. Senators Jesse Helms and Alfonse D'Amato publicly denounced Serrano's work, followed by thirty-six other Senators who expressed their outrage to the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) for providing funding to exhibits that they and their constituents deemed offensive. Suddenly, any Federal or state funding of the arts became suspect.''


After this, the Art Department of most college and universities in our state dried up. Professors lost their jobs for the coming semesters and those hard to get classes became nearly impossible as they went to an every other semester plan, thus extending the possibility of getting the courses you needed for another 2 or 2.5 years. Realize I transferred into App from a community college in order to save money, I actually earned my Associates in Arts degree there. Faced with the debt of being in college longer, this change would force me to spend another 4 years at Appalachian State University just to get out based on their NEW plan. In Spring 1992 I changed majors and in 1993 graduated with my degree in Parks and Recreation Management with a concentration in Camp Management. It made perfect sense for a Boy Scout guy to get his degree and go be a professional Boy Scout and maybe run camps for a living.  Off and on from 1993 until 2005 I worked for the Boy Scouts. Due to the change inside the Boy Scout business I experienced 5 different CEO's and 4 different managers, some of which were good men, but not all were in the program for the good of the boys they were commissioned to serve. This change was one that disappointed me greatly, but as with all things I am reminded of the need for our state motto- "To be rather then to seem". Once you put things into perspective you begin to see where you do and don't belong.


In 2005, after a year and a half of unfair and harsh treatment by co-workers within the Boy Scouts I felt the need to reevaluate my direction, so some soul searching which led me to return to my first love- Art. Having worked with children my entire, life the field of education was surely the correct course for me. My small family was growing, now with 2 children and the need for a more stable family plan that allowed me to see my children. I have always been able to draw and create with my hands. In summer 2005 I started my lateral entry course work in Visual Arts K-12 and in 2007 I completed that work.


I feel now that I should have never left my intended major in college due to my financial circumstances. It would have eventually worked out for me. The journey to here has been interesting and in many ways helped to prepare me to be a better teacher and co-worker. I can only imagine being eaten alive as a 24 year old entering the classroom for the first time. My first teaching assignment at age 35 was at Paisley International Baccalaureate School, a 6-10 grade inter city school in Forsyth County. It was a real learning experience for me. I got to meet students and parents in ways I have not since that time. It afforded me the opportunity to travel internationally with groups of students and their parents, something I do even now.  My time there was wonderful. Gas prices kept growing and the 110 minute commute began to drain me financially. in 2009 I was named teacher of the year, a great honor for me as such a young teacher.  My second teaching assignment was at Wilkes Central High School in Moravian Falls in the Wilkes County School system. Central has some very talented students and my time spent there taught me much about how arts education needs to become a community-wide effort. My work at Central helped me to understand how to work better with learning and physically disabled students. I am still encouraged by all the things we were able to do and how well supported our program was by the school administration. In fall 2010 I because the Art teacher at East Wilkes High School, a 5 minute commute. It is the same school where I attended for high school yet the building is totally new. A welcoming faculty with children from my own community.


In 2010 I achieved my National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in Visual Arts. I am currently working on my Masters degree in Educational Leadership with the dream of one day being a school administrator. It is by far the best, most equipped, fully functional art room I have ever been in.Over the last few years I have assisted my students in expanding the artwork to the whole school. We currently involve part of our semester painting murals and installing artwork all over the school. East is more of an artistic community among the student body and that is a refreshing position to see our students grow into.


I feel very blessed that God has seen me to this place and can not imagine what my life would be like if He had not moved and changed me to be where and who I am now.

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