Shrewsbury high school art students unveil powerful art exhibit

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By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter

SHS students Zachary St. Pierre and Phoebe Gullion with Faculty Advisor Pamela LeBlanc  Photo/Melanie Petrucci
SHS students Zachary St. Pierre and Phoebe Gullion with Faculty Advisor Pamela LeBlanc
Photo/Melanie Petrucci

Shrewsbury – An art installation constructed by members of the National Art Honor Society (NAHS) is currently on display at Shrewsbury High School (SHS). The exhibit focuses on social emotional health and how, together, the community at SHS can support one another.

SHS seniors Zachary St. Pierre and Phoebe Gullion, who lead this effort, explained that the theme is freedom, like butterflies in flight.

“It represents that we each have our own personal burdens and stressors and anxiety that’s all tucked away and we all help each other through it, like a swarm of butterflies,” said Zachary.

“We are all headed in the same direction,” added Phoebe.

Zachary said that the National Art Honor Society is a “tight-knit group” that tries to bring art into the community and to the world in general.

The idea for this exhibit was conceived around the middle of October when members of the NAHS decided to involve the community in a project. The origami butterflies in a swarm is symbolic of metamorphosis and, with the support of others, flying free.

“We cut up four-by-four pieces of paper of all different colors, warm colors – bright orange, yellow and pink – and we sent them out to all the homerooms and everybody wrote down something that they feel stresses them out or makes them feel trapped,” Phoebe explained. “We collected them and folded them into origami butterflies.”

All students and faculty members had an opportunity to participate and 90 percent of the school took part.

“The installation is a powerful representation of the challenges we all face and that we do not face these challenges alone,” said Principal Todd Bazydlo. “The NAHS clearly has a pulse of our community and they should be commended for their leadership by taking on this ambitious project.”

NAHS Faculty Advisor Pamela LeBlanc shared that there is talk of opening up the exhibit to the public, perhaps with a community viewing night or moving the exhibit to the Shrewsbury Public Library.

“This is what National Art Honor Society is supposed to be. It’s supposed to be students leading students and to create for the community,” LeBlanc noted. The exhibit will be on display at the high school through the holidays and into the New Year.