Three Appoquinimink High School students are coordinating their senior projects to show the town, through art, how kids in Middletown are these days.
On Sept. 1, Rachel Coyne, 17, will host an art show at the Gibby Center as her friends Casey Schweiger, 17, and Louis Blanchard hold a poetry slam next door at the Everett Theatre.
“I have loved [art] ever since I was a kid,” Coyne said.
The two separate projects will intertwine – the art show beginning at 7 p.m. and the poetry slam at 7:30 p.m. – with the friends expressing themselves in each other’s shows, as well as their own.
Coyne’s show, “Too weird, too rare,” will feature a variety of art from students at the Appoquinimink and Middletown high schools, including some of her own pieces and Schweiger’s photography.
“Every piece in the show has feeling,” she said. “It will show how kids are in Middletown.”
Coyne said that her favorite medium is stippling.
She will also be performing at the Poetry Slam.
Schweiger has always loved literature, reading and poetry. Her nickname in the Appoquinimink High School drama club is “stage mom.”
She loves theatre.
“The poetry slam is taking the written work and performing it as a monologue,” Schweiger said.
So far, she said there are about 20 kids performing in the slam, and others, who are heading off to college before the performance have video taped themselves to be played during the event.
The trio has multiple goals with their project.
One is to raise awareness of the arts in Middletown and another is to raise money for the Gibby and the Everett.
The art show will be free, but Coyne will be setting up a donation jar. She said she will be giving all of the donations back to the Gibby as a thank you for letting her use its space.
The poetry slam will be giving all proceeds of its ticket and concession sales back to the Everett Theatre to help pay for its new digital media projector.
“The arts are important to us,” Schweiger said. “They are a big part of our lives, and are overlooked a lot.”
Both girls said that they like that the arts can get people thinking and feel a certain way.
“School teaches us how to think,” Coyne said. “Art teaches us how to feel.”
Even though the two projects are separate, they are going to be coordinated as if they were one.
The hope the girls have is that people come to the art show at 7 p.m. before heading over to the Poetry Slam at 7:30 p.m. Then during intermission they plan on shuffling people to the Gibby Center before the second half of the Poetry Slam.
Page 2 of 2 - “We really want people to come out,” Schweiger said. “With my project, it’s not a form people are familiar with.”
They want to expose the community to something new and different.
“It’s unique,” Coyne said. “There will be a mix of art – photos, paintings, drawings, canvases…”
The poetry will be original pieces by the performers too.
“Honestly,” Coyne said, “it will be a little weird.”