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Local students bring joy to community with displayed art along the parkway

The two-year art project created by St. Joe Christian art students is titled "Today, I Choose Joy." The art will be displayed along the Northwest Parkway until mid-July.

Posted: May 24, 2021 6:19 PM
Updated: May 25, 2021 10:28 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) After two years of hard work, the St. Joe Christian Art Class finally displayed their project for all to see.

Located on the Northwest Parkway, four panels of colorful art created by students were completed Monday afternoon, titled "Today, I Choose Joy."

"So the inspiration was really just encouraging people to reflect from their lives every single day and choose joy in their daily circumstances," said student Bree Davis. "And we wanted to use bright colors and bring a little bit of joy into people's lives."

Over 50 students worked together throughout the two years, using multi-colored trash bags weaved through wired panels to showcase a man jumping for joy by doing a somersault, similar to an art flip book. 

"It was difficult at first trying to figure out how to best wrap it and make it work, and show the styles and the techniques," said the soon-to-be sophomore, Davis. "So we used bright trash bags, bright tableclothes, and they're all weather safe and through different things that they'll be doing with yard work, it'll all work."

The project was headed on by student Bree Davis and the art teacher Deborah Catron, who was inspired by the location of the parkway to display joyful art. 

"I was inspired by this perennial garden; I drive past it everyday," said Catron. "I thought God was really speaking to me about this particular spot. In driving past it, I was inspired to do a large piece, an installation that would really have a big impact as people drive past it as they would stop and want to look at it."

Hoping the art brings joy to those admiring the pieces, this particular project is Catron's final art project at St. Joe Christian, as she is retiring after 38 years of work. 

"It's been very bitter-sweet because I love teaching. This has been hard, but exciting to see this come to completion," said Catron.  Her student Bree Davis added, "It's been amazing, I love her so much. We've done so many things in the past and I've really built a relationship since I've been with her and it's been amazing."

While the project took longer than expected because of the pandemic, Catron believes the piece was completed at the perfect time. "It is just the best time for this to be done; to just get a message of joy out there to our community."

"Today, I Choose Joy" will be displayed on the Northwest Parkway until mid-July. 

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