By Walter L. Johnson II
Local high school students with an interest in the arts will have the chance to express their appreciation for it closer to home
The Albany-based two-year college will host the third-annual “Arts at Darton Day”, this Tuesday, Feb. 8, on the Darton campus.
Darton professor of music Jeff Kluball says the “Arts at Darton Day” is a tremendous opportunity for high school students to gain greater awareness, as well as exposure to, the arts at the constantly growing institution.
“It provides us a way to actually educate, and let high school students in the area come in, and experience college life first hand, instead of just a traditional recruiting day where students come and visit the college, and pick up brochures,” Kluball said. “We actually have them come in, and experience the arts at Darton College. They go to theatre classes, art classes, music classes, and theatre and dance classes.”
Kluball added: “They leave here better artists, and better prepared. Plus, they know what it’s like to be at college for a day. They’re actually in classes with college students, and they play their instruments, they play the musical instruments, their try their dance shoes, they participate in that, and they also put together things in the theatre. So, it’s quite an experience, it lets them know what college is all about.”
Participants in the “Arts at Darton Day” will also learn how to use computer art to make images of themselves, including magazine covers, art professor John Dimino said.
“We’re learning different programs like Photoshop and In Design,” Dimino said, “but we’re teaching the students to use the computers as art-making tools. So, at the ‘Arts at Darton Day’, we’re going to have the (high school) students work in different areas, like the computer lab, and then they’ll work in ceramics, and we’ll have them doing drawing, so they can experience what it’s like to be an art student at Darton for the day.”
Kluball says the response to the “Arts at Darton Day” has grown positively in the two years that it’s been held on campus.
“It’s been well-received every year, and we have high school sponsors and counselors that bring students up,” Kluball said, “and students can come over on their own as well, and we’ve had very good feedback on it. It actually serves a purpose as well, because it lets high school students know there’s more things to do in the arts beyond high school.”
Kluball also expects to see about the same numbers attending the “Arts at Darton Day.”
“We’ve averaged almost 100 students every year,” said Kluball. “We’re already anticipating at least that this year. We have over 75 (students) that have already confirmed reservations, and we have some very nice things to offer them since we started the ‘Arts at Darton Day.’
Additionally, students who attend Darton from outside of Albany/Dougherty County will also be encouraged to make the most of the new student center that opened last year, as well as the on-campus housing, Kluball added.
“We do have new dormitories,” Kluball said. “We’re in our second year with dormitories. We have a brand-new student center that is great for student activities.”
Dimino hope students take away a lot of things they’ll learn from the “Arts at Darton Day.”
“We’re just looking forward to meeting the high school students that will be here,” Dimino said, “and to show them what we do, give them the opportunity to work in the ceramics room, and to make something to take home with them.”
For more information on the “Arts at Darton Day”, contact Jeff Kluball at (229) 317-6852, or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or Gail Apperson at (229) 317-6554, or send e-mail to email@example.com. Students can also register online at http://www.darton.edu.