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Foga Road High School: Making waves in art

Published:Wednesday | December 14, 2016 | 12:01 PMShanique Samuels
Teacher Hugh Webb guides Michael Corcho as he works on a painting.
Michael Corcho with some of his paintings on display in the Foga Road High School Art Department.

MAY PEN, Clarendon:

Determined to become one of the premier educational institutions in Jamaica, educators at the Foga Road High School in Clarendon continue to go above and beyond the call of duty to make the dream a reality.

The school was recently mentioned in the 12th showcase of the Liguanea Art 2016 Festival catalogue where the individual work of three art students- Michael Corcho, Mario Carty and Shane Salmon was published in the latest edition of the feature.

Principal of the nine-year-old institution Kerinth Campbell said such exposure is as good for the school as well as the students.

"I am excited that our school has gotten special mention in the catalogue and augurs well for our school because it is a great platform for exposure," she said.

The institution entered The Institute of Jamaica's Art Festival with a number of pieces in leather, painting, ceramics and basketry, which was displayed for six months after which one student Michael Corcho also got special mention for his leather artwork.

Hugh Webb has been a visual arts teacher at the school for five years; he was instrumental in introducing leather work to the students last year.

"Leather has always been used in artwork for a long time. First, we introduced them to bags and belts, and then the idea came about to do pictures, and it came out very well. Getting images onto the leather is a tedious process which takes skill, focus and determination," he explained to Rural Xpress, adding that the time to create a finished leather artwork will depend on the type and size of the image.

Campbell said the leather portrait is a fantastic piece of artwork as she has never seen any picture in leather.

"The teachers are doing wonders with the students who have demonstrated the passion and determination to get into it."

"We are building not only the academics, but the talents of the students as we try to teach them that they can make a living from what they do. Foga Road High will become known as a school that offers a wide variety of opportunities for students to develop holistically. It doesn't have to be in only the academics or sports, but in all areas, because we also have a thriving technical and vocational skills department where students are also excelling in all the skilled areas," boasted Campbell.


Webb said the students have learned to appreciate the artwork which is on display in the hallways and corridors.

"They love to see them and they don't graffiti them because it influences them positively. They are happy to hang out at the art room as it helps to keep them occupied."

He added: "We are planning to host an open day to auction some of the items as we look to use them as an income generating idea to maintain our art department because the equipment is expensive."

Campbell said more and more students are expressing interest in the arts so as an institution, she says they are trying as best as possible to focus on the practical areas because not all students are good at theory, some students are actually practical learners.

"There is always room for improvement and as such, we try to research different techniques to teach the students to keep them interested," Campbell noted.