The View 38002 November 2014

**************ECRWSS**** LOCAL POSTAL CUSTOMER PRSRT STD ECRWSS U.S. POSTAGE PAID EDDM RETAIL inform. educate. connect. Arlington & Lakeland’s Community Newspaper November 2014 theview theview Arlington High Art Students Get Lesson in Art, History from Memphis Artist George Hunt Lakeland Moves Forward with Approval of Lakeland Prep Tax Increase, Project Manager By Terry Louderback By Terry Louderback On October 21, Arlington High School Visual Arts students had the opportunity to listen and learn from an acclaimed artist—Memphis painter George Hunt. Hunt, who taught art in the Memphis City Schools for 36 years, regaled the students with a mixture of stories about his journey to becoming an artist and aphorisms encouraging the students in their artistic development. Hunt’s “Meet and Greet” at the school was arranged in conjunction with the RiverArtsFest held later that week in the Historic South Main Arts District in Downtown Memphis. Each year, the festival partners professional artist with local schools, explained AHS Visual Art Teacher Leanne Wilson.. A native of Louisiana, Hunt attended high school in Hot Springs, Arkansas before receiving a fo otb all scholarship to the University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff. He also attended graduate school at Memphis State and New York University. Originally intending to be a coach, Hunt switched to art education in college and then taught art and coached football and track at Carver High School in Memphis. Just one year after electing a new mayor, overhauling the board of commissioners, and establishing its first-ever municipal school board, Lakeland’s elected officials continued their wave of change in October with several key votes. America Cares, by George Hunt as appeared on a 2005 US Postage Stamp. Staff Photo Acclaimed Memphis Artist George Hunt spoke to Arlington High Visual Art Students about his experiences as an artist and art educator. Hunt credited Memphis State Art Professor Dick Knowles with encouraging him not to copy the style of European masters, but to “do what you do” and “paint what you like.” “What I knew for the most part was the hood,” Hunt states, adding that he “had limited involvement with whites.” In fact, Hunt tells that he only taught two white students in his 36 years at Carver High. Told to “paint what you know,” Hunt chose subjects from the music world he loved—although he isn’t a musician—blues players, gambling, dice, and cards. He started to paint in his classroom after school and sports practices were over. His dedication to creating art meant that sometimes he would stay all night. “If there is something you want to do, you will find time to do it,” Hunt told the students. In addition to themes of music, Hunt is recognized as a leading Civil Rights artist. America Cares. an image of the Little Rock Nine he created for a memorial at Central High School in Little Rock, was selected to hang at the White House and later issued as a postage stamp as p art o f a ser ie s co mme mo rating Civil Rights. Visual Arts Teacher Carrol McTyre describes the impact exposure to a working artist has on her students. “They see someone who is not working realistically, but has a definite style. This gives the students encouragement to push outside of what they are used to doing.” AHS students Emily James and Emily Burraston agreed that after Hunt’s talk they were intrigued and encouraged to experiement. Burraston, a senior at AHS who hopes to major in art education, said “I would be interested to see my style if I tried to mimic his.” James, a sopho more interested in fashion design admitted that she, too, had worried about painting anything abstract. “It’s outside of my comfort zone.” At its October 13 Board Meeting, the Lakeland School System became of the of the first in Tennessee to pass a resolution encouraging the Tennessee governor, legislature, and state department o f education to repeal the adoption of the Common Core State Standards. After the vote, Board Chair Kevin Floyd stated that while the resolution has no immediate impact on what is being taught at Lakeland Elementary, “we’re hoping that it will send a message to the Tennessee legislators that Tennessee parents and educators and school boards want to be involved in educating Tennessee students.” The very next day, a full house was present for the Board of Commissioner’s twice-delayed vote to approve a $0.55 special property tax solely for the retirement of school bond debt. After a steady stream of citizens spoke in support of the “Lakeland Prep” joint middle/high school construction project or advocated reasons why it should be delayed, the board unsurprisingly voted unanimously to approve the ordinance. In an interview after the meeting, Mayor Bunker explained that the October 14 vote didn’t actually enact a tax increase or issue bonds. “With the vote tonight, it did not have any effect: it did not issue bonds and it did not increase the tax rate,” Bunker said. According to Bunker, by state law, taxes can only be adjusted once a year during the budget process. For Lakeland, this will occur in May or June 2015. The Board of Commissioner's action now lets the school board know of the BOC's intention to increase taxes. “Tonight was just our way of saying, ‘Ok, there is support from the board of commissioners for the school board to move forward with site selection and design because time is of the essence’” Bunker explained. The budget process will include more public hearings. If approved, the tax increase would be retroactive to January 2015. Once the BOC takes action to issue bonds, Bunker states a 20-day window opens during with the public may petition to force a referendum on the bond issuance.