Students create incredible works at the Fine Art Academy


The Academy of Fine Arts held this summer at Pine Bush High School allowed students to truly immerse themselves in art. Janice Barth led the class but said the students themselves ran with it.

“A lot of our projects were very open,” Ms. Barth said. “They understood what they wanted to do.”

One of the most interesting projects they did was turning old guitars into works of art. The Youth Empowerment and Sustainability Skills (YESS) club had collected the guitars as part of a recycling project. Kara Sprague, the club’s advisor, donated the guitars to the Fine Art Academy. Students chose a visual or musical artist or musical genre and dedicated the guitar in their honor. They also wrote an artist statement about the project.

A young man with curly black hair, wearing glasses, smiles.  He wears a purple short-sleeved shirt and holds a painted guitar with sunflowers on the bottom and blue on top.

Each student also chose a word and created a collage to illustrate the word. They used the actual dictionary page and then painted or drew their representation of the word in 10 different ways in the collage.

A page from a dictionary with drawings of sneakers on and around it.

They have worked with clay, foam structures, metal embossing and more.

“The word that comes to mind when I see these students and their work is ‘inspiration,'” said Brian Dunn, Superintendent of Pine Bush Schools. “We need people to think outside the box like you. I am inspired by these students and the work they have done.

Several painted guitars stand on a table and lean against a wall.

Pine Bush High School Principal Aaron Hopmayer congratulated the students for their hard work and commitment to improving their skills at the summer academy.

A man in a blue and white polo shirt shakes hands with a young woman with shoulder-length brown hair and dressed in a purple polo shirt.  She is holding an envelope in her hand.

“I am so impressed with all of you,” Mr. Hopmayer said. “You chose to give up part of your summer and learn here. We had 240 students opting for summer enrichment. It’s awesome and it makes you stand out.

A young woman with light shoulder-length hair, dressed in a purple polo shirt, smiles.  She is holding a ceramic work of art she made - a gray-haired woman in large scrolls.

A large group of high school students, all dressed in purple polo shirts and khaki pants, hold certificates.  One row sits in front and another stands behind.

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