EHS reaps benefits of art grant

Published 8:09 am Friday, November 24, 2017

Who said discs were just for music and movies?

Elizabethton High School art students spent the first part of the week working with mixed-media fiber artist Bailey Earith on the art of CD in Ms. Lisa Malone’s classroom.

Each year, Malone has received a $2,000 grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission to allow a recognized artist to stop by the school and teacher students unique ways of expressing their creativity.

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“The two previous years, we did bookmaking. They year, we are weaving on a CD, which is called radial weaving,” said Malone. “We’re using a lot of recycled materials. Even the CDs are recycled. The yarn, beads and lace are then added to them. The students are responding really well with the project because they can create their own weavings and combinations.”

Earith has visited the classroom over the past three years and has been a treat for students, according to Malone. Since meeting at an arts and education seminar in Johnson City, Malone said the partnership has blossomed into essential part of the students’ development as artists.

“We really welcome Bailey to come back each year,” Malone said.

And Earith, who has an art studio based out of Knoxville, said the opportunity has been a joy, especially having the chance working with up-and-coming artists.

“I love working with high school kids because they’ve got all sorts of ideas,” Earith said. “Once I show them the process, I let them run. They can explore. They have time to invent, create and go through the process further than just the basics.”

For two days, students were able to learn the concept of CD weaving. The process, according to Earith, is a way for students to relax while being creative.

“Weaving and working in a circle is very meditative,” she said. “It helps you concentrate and put you in a good state of mind for your other projects.”

Interest in the arts has seen an increase over the past two years, according to Malone.

“The last couple of years, we’ve really seen our numbers increase,” she said. “We’ve had more than one teacher teach classes and each class has been full.”

Students’ interest in different types of art, from creating pieces to music and theatrical performances, has encouraged Elizabethton City Schools officials to green light a fundraising project to create an outdoor arts area at the high school, which will include a stage and lighting.

Citizens can contact Central Office or the high school to learn how to contribute to the cause.

Visit to learn more about Earith’s other projects and mixed-media fiber art.