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.