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Bowman celebrates 20th art festival

Posted: June 5, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: June 5, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Bowman High School students show off their work during the school’s Day of the Artist and Poetry Festival. This year marked the 20th anniversary of the celebration that gives students a way to express themselves through the arts.

Bowman’s artists and poets took center stage last month at the 20th annual Day of the Artist and Poetry Festival to showcase their hard work and creative talents with a day full of artwork, music and the spoken word poetry readings by the students of Bowman High School.

The event is a tradition at Bowman High School that had its modest beginnings in the classroom of a poetry teacher, Richard Weekley, and now 20 years later has grown to become a campuswide celebration of the arts.

The event began with a gallery showing of award-winning student artwork ranging from watercolors to abstract art. Bowman students proudly displayed their work on 6-foot-high boards, watching while fellow students and guests walked from piece to piece and stood by their art to answer questions about it. The art displayed was extensive, demonstrating the talents of the art department’s students in a wide range of subjects. The art students this year, explained art teacher Mary Gaskin, were awarded numerous statewide prizes for their craft.

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 microphone performance. The event was opened by Weekley, who read one of his poems and offered his advice to the upcoming group of poets.

Creative writing teacher Mike Mansfield then invited the audience to read along with the student authors, who in turn took to the podium to read their own original poetry in front of a crowd of 100 people. The creative writing students at Bowman have released their newly published book of poetry, artwork and photography titled “The Act of Dreaming.” More than 80 student poets were published this year, and 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 as they performed during the event.

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

Mike Mansfield teaches creative writing at Bowman High School. 


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