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Bowman celebrates Day of the Artist and Poet

Posted: June 1, 2010 10:34 p.m.
Updated: June 2, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Bowman High School student Mikis Constantine stands with one of the art displays during the 18th annual Day of the Artist and Poetry Festival.

Bowman’s best and brightest artists and poets took center stage at the 18th annual Day of the Artist and Poetry Festival to showcase their hard work and creative talents. Bowman has a strong history of promoting the arts as a means for students to process their feelings and to better connect with their educational process.

The event began with a gallery showing of student artwork and photographs. The quad was decorated with tables filled with original student artwork, from intricately painted drumheads to portraits and still-lifes of fruit and other delicious treats.

Guided by the expert hand of art teacher Mary Gaskin, the experience of the art student at Bowman ranges from watercolors to abstract art and culminates in a beautiful gallery of unique talent. Bowman students proudly displayed their hard work on 6-foot high boards, watching while fellow students and guests on campus walked from piece to piece. Students stood by their art to answer questions about it.

For the first time this year, the gallery included a display of expressive photographs taken by Bowman’s first digital-photography class, which provided excellent examples of both studio and field photography for guests to experience.

The art walk was followed by an outdoor poetry reading held on Bowman’s south lawn where the creative writing students celebrated the publication of their annual literary magazine with an open-mic performance.

The event was opened by creative writing instructor Mike Mansfield, who invited the audience of some 100 people to enjoy the “rich bouquet of commas and exclamation points” that they were holding in their hands, as they read along with the student authors who took to the podium to read their own original poetry.  More than 80 of Bowman’s poets were published this year in their 2010 literary magazine “The Midnight Sun,” now in its 18th year of existence.

The creative-writing program provides students the opportunity to express themselves and their emotions in an alternative setting.  For some of the poets, it was their first time speaking in front of a large crowd.

The poetry reading was periodically accompanied by some of Bowman’s own student musicians from the school’s music program as they performed their own original songs, much to the delight of the audience.

As the festivities drew to a close, guests enjoyed refreshments and discussion while the students helped themselves to a feeling of accomplishment and pride.  Bowman student Charlotte Free said with a smile “Bowman has really helped me see what I can do as an artist and poet. This day was really fun.”

All student art, photography and writing can be enjoyed on Bowman’s website at

Mike Mansfield is the creative writing teacher at Bowman High School.


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