Celebrating artistry at PHS

By CONNIE NOLEN / Community Columnist

“What I love about photography,” said Pelham High School senior Shannon Lavender, “is that it doesn’t have to be perfect. A simple blade of grass can create an amazing photo.”

Sophomore Trey Evans agreed saying, “Photography surprises me by revealing that imperfection is often beauty from a unique angle.”

According to PHS photography teacher Kim Hinds, Lavender and Evans should know.

“These two students are extremely talented, and it shows in their photos. Shannon and Trey show great enthusiasm and spend time outside of class practicing new techniques and methods,” Hinds said.

Award-winning PHS student photographers Shannon Lavender and Trey Evans show off their cameras. (Contributed)

Both Evans and Lavender were rewarded for their hard work recently when they won awards for their photography in the 2012 Shelby County Superintendents’ Art Show. Trey Evans captured first place in ninth- and 10th-grade photography and Shannon Lavender placed second in 11th- and 12th-grade photography.

“I was pleasantly surprised that some of my students won because our program is so new,” said Hinds.

This is the first year for PHS to have a formal photography class. Students have learned photography basics in publications classes with many of our students capturing photography awards at state publications’ competitions.

“Taking yearbook last year made me realize how much I enjoyed photography and how much I wanted to study and become a better photographer,” Lavender said.

Lavender was not alone in her desire to study photography. More than 90 students are currently taking photography classes at PHS.

For Hinds, setbacks in the construction of our new wing have challenged her to adapt her photography curriculum.

“Without a black room for film processing, the students have mainly dealt with digital photography,” Hinds said.

Although Hinds, along with her fellow PHS art teachers, looks forward to having the updated equipment and facilities in our new wing upon its completion, she has worked creatively to provide inspiring instruction for her students.

At Pelham High School’s upcoming Write Night on Feb. 2, both Lavender and Evans will display their award-winning photos in the art show that became a wonderful addition to Write Night last year.

The creative spirit of PHS students is revealed by the Thoreau quote they’ve chosen for the Write Night T-shirt: “The world is but a canvas to our imagination.”

With new technologies making more creative tools available constantly, our students reveal imagination and artistry worth celebrating. Photography, technology and events like Write Night stretch the creative canvas.

Connie Nolen can be reached by email at CNolen@Shelbyed.k12.al.us.