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Student project spreads love, art

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Northern Nash High School seniors Brandon Ellis, 17, left, and Alexis Lucas, 17, chat as they look for locations to hide their ceramic pottery art on Friday at Sunset Park.

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BY AMELIA HARPER
Staff Writer

Monday, February 11, 2019

Students in an art class at Northern Nash High School are working to spread the love around Rocky Mount in a special way this Valentine season.

The roughly 20 students in Shelly Maloney’s pottery class have made about 200 pieces of pottery art and are scattering them a various locations in Rocky Mount for residents to find and keep free of charge.

Each piece of hand-crafted, hand-painted pottery has a note attached that reads:

“This artwork was left just for you! It is yours to keep and we want you to know you are loved, not only on Valentine’s Day, but every day for many years to come. Mrs. M’s art class learned about artist Jennifer Love Gironda and she inspired us to bring joy into the lives of those who live around us. If you pick this up and keep it for our own, please post on social media and use #NNHSKnightsloveart so we will know our artwork has a new home. Happy Valentine’s Day!”

“The project originated from studying artist Jennifer Love Gironda who began #AngelDropArt years ago and has placed her famous watercolor paintings all over the United States,” Maloney said. “#NNHSknightsloveart will be attached to our ceramic pieces as well as an encouraging note from the artist to spread love and light into the world.”

Brandon Ellis, a senior at Northern Nash High School, was out distributing his art on Friday. He said he and his classmates want people to be on the lookout for this artwork all over town and to be aware that it is a gift. The students in the class are also hoping people will use the hashtag to communicate on social media so they can track where the gifts land.

“I like this project because we can create anything we want and it is given to other people. Someone might be having a bad day, and it might instantly change their day when they find something that is pretty cool to keep. People around here need cheering up,” Ellis said.

The artwork appears in many various forms including animals, hearts, keys, human figurines, crosses, swords and a variety of others shapes. The pieces will be placed by students in many locations as well, including gas stations, parks, stores and restaurants.

Alexis Lucas, also a senior at Northern Nash High School, said knowing that the pieces would be given to other people changed the way students approached the artwork. 

“We just took our time with these pieces to try to make them look good,” Lucas said. “I feel like these items will bring joy and happiness to people. Just by placing them around town, I feel like it will just bring people together and prepare them for Valentine’s Day,”

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