VIDEO: Event highlights notable African Americans

  • Art show and wax museum provide history lessons for Lingerfeldt students

    To celebrate African-American History Month, Lingerfeldt Elementary School transformed into a vibrant hub of creative display with an art show and wax museum program that brought attention to the rich influence of African Americans.

    Gaston County Board of Education member Dot Guthrie was the guest speaker for the event, and she emphasized the importance of recognizing and honoring the contributions of African Americans throughout history. 

    The event showcased the artistic talents of students from kindergarten to fifth grade. The younger students created vibrant collages, drawing inspiration from the renowned painter Alma Thomas, while those in the higher grades crafted self-portraits influenced by the distinctive style of acclaimed quilt artist Bisa Butler.

    Art teacher Erin Hirst explained, “Our students worked for almost four weeks on their self-portraits, using their yearbook photos for inspiration.  They traced their photos onto clear sheets, painted them, and used scrapbook paper for the background like Bisa Butler’s quilts. They did great, and I’m very proud."

    In addition, students in grades 3-5 researched famous African Americans and wrote speeches.  Students then chose who they wanted to portray in the wax museum concept.  As students and staff toured the wax museum (much like what happens at an actual wax museum), the students, dressed in costume, brought the exhibit to life by reciting information about the people they were portraying and their significant influence.

    Third grader Kaybree King studied and dressed as Bessie Coleman, the first African-American woman and Native American to get a pilot license.  She was excited to give her speech, and she really got into the role, using a small plane as a prop.

    According to principal Garey Coke, the opportunity gave the students a chance to learn about history, where the person they selected was born and raised, and the person’s significance to the country.

    “The students were all dressed up as historical figures, allowing them to not only learn about those who came before them, but to look like them, too,” said Coke.  “Our students put so much work into the person they were portraying, and I could not be more impressed.”