A Night at the MET: Art takes center stage at Warren Central High School Prom

Published 4:00 am Sunday, May 7, 2023

High school prom is like a rite of passage for junior and senior students.

Held at the end of the year, prom is a dance party where students gather with friends before parting ways — for juniors before the summer break and for seniors, it is one last foray before heading their separate ways after graduation.

Proms are also often themed, and at Warren Central High School it is tradition for the senior class to set the tone for the evening. This year, the 2023 class chose “A Night at the New York MET.”

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To carry out prom themes, it has also been a tradition at the WCHS for the art department to “happily make it happen,” WCHS art instructor Claude Lee said. This year that included 11 art students creating the décor for the event, he said.

And with the aim of giving students attending prom a sense of being at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it was essential for these 11 students to create some of the works shown at the gallery.

“One particular painting that the Met exhibits is ‘Washington Crossing the Delaware,’ by the German Emanuel Leutze, and of course, we had to throw in ‘The Christ of St. John’ by Salvador Dali,” Lee said. “‘The Vision of Ezekiel’ by the great Renaissance master Raffaello Sanzio was also on display at ‘A Night at the New York MET.’”

All three of these masterpieces were surrounded by frames the students had made and were on display at prom, which was held at the Vicksburg Convention Center last weekend.

“One of our student masterpieces created was a Pop Art representation of our Viking mascot,” Lee said, adding it was painted on a 10-foot-long and 8-foot-wide canvas.

“We studied and practiced for weeks different techniques and color creations before putting this piece together,” he said.

Four other acrylic pieces were painted on canvases measuring five feet tall and four feet wide. They too, were of the Valkyrie — a Norse mythological figure.

“The students were thrilled to be able to create their own version of the female Viking. It was Warren Central pride at its best. And goodness did these young ladies shine,” Lee said.

Another three art pieces, measuring four feet long and three feet wide — one of which was a representation of cubic art — graced the halls of the VCC.

“It had different shades of blue acrylic on Styrofoam,” Lee said of the cubic art painting. “There was also a painting of Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ that would make Mr. Van Gogh jealous it was so good, and there was another beautiful Valkyrie in pastel.”

All in all, Lee said, the students created 14 pieces: nine acrylic paintings, two pastels and frames for three masterpiece paintings.

Lee praised these young artists, most of whom were sophomores and not even part of the junior-senior event, for their effort and talent.

“These ladies are some of the most creative students I have ever had the honor to direct and work with,” he said.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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