VIDEO: Opening Doors to Spring Exhibit

  • Highland students paint doors for springtime art exhibit 

    Students at Highland School of Technology have completed artwork that is on display now at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden for the “Opening Doors to Spring” exhibit.

    Students painted spring-inspired scenes on wooden doors that feature bold and bright colors and designs.  The doors are located throughout the garden for visitors to see as they stroll through.  A group of 72 students has been involved in the community art project.

    Highland art teacher Marty Hutchins said the doors vary in size and design, ranging from shutter doors to glass-paned doors.

    “Our students learned different techniques to paint on the various surfaces and bring a cohesive picture to life,” said Hutchins. “They were tasked to incorporate the many things seen in a garden setting such as big blooms, pollinators, and wildlife.”
    Seniors Maggie Williams and Jasmine Boulware painted a gnome in the middle of their door to highlight the pink Muscari in the background and two cherry trees in the foreground.  Other students like Morgan Monk were excited about the opportunity to paint on a large canvas like a door and express what spring means to him. 

    Students Morgan Spivey and Jonathan Woods painted their door after the corpse flower, which blooms once every seven years.  

    “I never painted seriously before this project,” said Spivey. “I learned a lot and created something that I never knew I was capable of.”

    Woods added, “I learned how to blend colors on the door to make things stand out against the background, including how to make the flower look 3D.”

    Junior Reese Thomas said art is her passion, and she hopes to make a career out of it. 

    “Painting my door was a fun experience,” explained Thomas. “I painted daylilies and columbines that are very beautiful especially during spring.”

    Junior Connor Redmond, who is a part of Highland’s engineering pathway, designed stands that held the doors upright while the students painted them.  His stands are also being used to display some of the doors at the garden.

    Habitat for Humanity of Gaston County donated the doors, and thanks to a grant, Pisgah ARP Church was able to provide the art supplies.

    The “Opening Doors to Spring” exhibit runs through June 18.  Doors are available for purchase with proceeds providing scholarships for art students.  For more information, visit the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden website: