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Sparta students showcase art skills

Foundation grant funds new display area

Sparta — Student art pieces are brightening up the once-bare walls of Sparta High School’s F-wing.

A grant from the Sparta Education Foundation funded the purchase of frames and mounting equipment for a new showcase area, which art teacher Donald Crawford is using to display student pieces that demonstrate exceptional skill or commitment and hard work.

The opportunity to be featured gives students an “extra little push” to strive for their best in their creations, Crawford said: “It’s meaningful for them to get it out here.”

That’s the case for senior Gabriel Gair, who has a Georgia O’Keefe-inspired oil pastel flower rendering and a charcoal still life on display.

“My goal is to have every one of my works this year get put up in the hallway,” Gabriel said.

When he’s not in Crawford’s class, Gabriel is taking dual-enrollment classes. Art gives him a chance to unwind.

“I just love doing it,” he said.

Freshman Abigail Baltruczak also has a piece on display: an acrylic painting of a hay bail titled “Yellow Field.”

Freshman Abigail Baltruczak poses next to her painting, “Yellow Field,” in Sparta High School’s revamped F-wing

“I’m really honored that I get to have it out here,” Abigail said.

Crawford plans to keep filling up the walls, cycling out old projects for new ones as the year progresses.

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Riley Kelley
Riley Kelley
Riley Kelley is a reporter covering Cedar Springs, Grand Rapids, East Grand Rapids and Sparta school districts. An award-winning journalist, Riley spent eight years with the Ludington Daily News, reporting, copy editing, paginating and acting as editor for its weekly entertainment section. He also contributed to LDN’s sister publications, Oceana’s Herald-Journal and the White Lake Beacon. His reporting on issues in education and government has earned accolades from the Michigan Press Association and Michigan Associated Press Media Editors. Riley’s early work in journalism included a stint as an on-air news reporter for WMOM Radio, and work on the editorial staff of various student publications. Riley is a graduate of Grand Valley State University. He originally hails from western Washington.


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