Hope Public Schools

Ceiling art keeps HHS tradition

HOPE – There is a school of thought which says, “Art is where you find it.” The visitor to Kendrick Adams’ art classes on the third floor of Hope High School need only look up as they walk in the door to find it.

Adams’ Art II students are given an opportunity each year to produce a “ceiling art” piece which literally has transformed two classrooms into works of art composed of individual works of art.

Students in the second semester of the advanced art class are given a standard ceiling tile and permitted to turn it into a canvas for any theme they choose within the bounds of propriety and school policy that represents the student.

“I don’t know where it came from,” Adams said, but he has continued the tradition. “I came here in 2012, and it was already here. All I know is in 2009 somebody started it.”

The tradition has produced pieces from the romantic to the comic to the socially iconic and satirical.

Favorite cartoon characters, superhero/video game themes, sports teams (Bobcats and Razorbacks are heavy favorites), ethnic themes, and patriotic concepts are most common.

There is one Jackson Pollock enthusiast in the two-room spread of art. And, there is a Harry Potter fan.

“She did a self-portrait as a Harry Potter character,” Adams said.

A quick look at the crest on her robe indicates she chose Slythren House.

Students begin by creating a template on paper, which is then photocopied onto a plastic overhead projection cell that is used to literally project the design onto the ceiling tile and an outline is traced onto the tile. The final work is typically done with acrylic paint, but other media such as marker pen have been used, Adams said.

“They’ve already worked with canvas, paints and tempera,” Adams said. “So, the whole process takes about three weeks.”

Juniors Shanaya Rankin and Anecia Hardiman both chose favorite television cartoon sitcom characters.

Rankin chose Bebe, one of two youngest siblings from The Proud Family, a Disney cartoon sitcom. Bebe and his sister, Cece, were toddlers in the original run of the series, but Rankin chose his slightly older iteration.

“I watched it growing up as a kid,” she said. “It reminded me a lot of my family.”

Hardiman portrayed Lisa Simpson on her tile, little sister of sibling Bart Simpson, from the cartoon sitcom The Simpsons. Like Bebe from The Proud Family, Lisa is a savant of sorts who constantly demonstrates capabilities generally impossible for children of their age.

“I like her outgoing personality,” Hardiman said. “She’s a thinker.”

Senior Dillon White created a stylized University of Arkansas Razorback with a straightforward purpose.

“I’ve always been a Razorback fan,” White said.

Keyonati Haynes, a junior who has played basketball for HHS, was equally inspired by the winning shot in a game between the NBA New Jersey Nets and Golden State Warriors to use the Nets’ jersey logo.

Junior Adrian Yepez chose to do a montage of ideas representing his life as a New Orleans Saints fan, soccer player for the Bobcats (No. 15), and fan of British pro soccer team Manchester United.

Junior Kylin White is a fan of “graffiti art” which he chose to represent with a stylized letter “K” as his signature.

Adams said the tradition is something his students understand as they leave their mark at HHS.

“It’s one of the things that really excites them,” he said.

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