Tara Best

BFA ’21 Art Education

Artist Statement

My senior exhibit displays the work of my middle school students throughout my semester at C.M. Eppes Middle School in Greenville, North Carolina. While facing hardships due to the global pandemic, these face-to-face students worked diligently to create an Impressionist “mural” that showcases their learning of Impressionist mark-making, drawing from observation, and collaboration through their individual works of art. These murals were unique to this year’s school situation in a few cases. While students were essentially separated from most of their peers during this pandemic, they were still able to complete a cohesive work of art that displays the art concepts they were able to learn together in their face-to-face art class. Notice how one mural has nine individual pieces and one mural has twelve individual pieces — these numbers represent the impact COVID-19 has had, not only on school numbers locally, but nationwide. Nine and twelve pieces represent the number of students in each hybrid week’s face-to-face classroom; nine and twelve 6th graders are given direct instruction while the other 10-20 students are home learning virtually. My senior exhibition serves to highlight the short, yet impactful time I’ve had teaching these students, showcasing the hard work they’ve done while handling a global pandemic and the trials it has caused within our school systems.