“The World Around You” juried art show set for Oct. 23 at JM

SILER CITY — Jordan-Matthews High School artists will help everyone “look at the world around you” during a juried art exhibition scheduled for October 23 in Siler City.

“The World Around You: A Celebration of Art” will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. in the JM Media Center. The one-hour exhibition, planned and presented by Art III/IV students, is free and includes a reception with light refreshments.

The show is inspired by “Under the Sea," a featured number from JM’s upcoming musical production of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” which offers three performances only from November 15 to 17.

Art teacher Rahma Mateen-Mason said advanced students are interpreting the theme in many different mediums, while concentrating on observation, identity and perspective. Art I students are using an "Under the Sea” theme, drawn directly from the song’s title, to create art based on sea life, both real and imaginary.

Cash awards will be presented with $100 for the work judged by professional artists as first-place and $50 for the work judged as second-place in the show.

“The World Around You: A Celebration of Art” is being presented with assistance from JMArts, the Jordan-Matthews Arts Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization with about 90 members and five organizational partners working to provide what JM artists need to excel.

More information about the foundation, including how to become a member, is available online at JMArts.org. Tickets to Disney's "The Little Mermaid" are now on sale at JMArtsTickets.com.

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 JM senior Axel Vera works on his piece for "The World Around You: A Celebration of Art" during Rahma Mateen-Mason's Honors Art VI class.

JM senior Axel Vera works on his piece for "The World Around You: A Celebration of Art" during Rahma Mateen-Mason's Honors Art VI class.

JM actors explore the world of professional theater during a walk deep into Sherwood Forest

CHAPEL HILL — More than two dozen Jordan-Matthews actors — including many who had never attended a professional production before — got an unprecedented look at how theater is created during an in-depth visit on September 28 to PlayMakers Repertory Company.

The centerpiece was a performance of “Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood,” PlayMakers’ season-opening comedy. But that hit play with original music was just the evening's second act. Before the show, students explored backstage to learn how intricate theatrical productions are created and brought to life.

They explored workshops where creative professionals were busy building sets and costumes. They walked through prop storage and the green room where actors make quick costume changes and wait for their big moments on stage. They stood next to the catwalk high above PlayMakers’ smaller stage. And they even got a rare opportunity to walk through the rehearsal room where actors are preparing the theater's next production. In every space, creative professionals showed some of their work, explained their process and answered a lot of questions.

After the play, in the evening’s third and final act, focus shifted to what happens on stage. Six of the actors — Jeffrey Blair Cornell (Sir Guy), Ray Dooley (Prince John), Christine Mirzayan (Maid Marian), Tristan Parks (Sheriff of Nottingham), Joshua David Robinson (Robin Hood) and Dan Toot (Friar Tuck) — spent almost half an hour discussing their performances, providing advice and encouragement to the student artists, and answering even more questions.

Four JM actors even managed to make it onstage. At one point during the play, actors select a few audience members to join in the dancing. As Friar Tuck looked into the audience, he drew his finger across the crowd to find someone who was game. It didn’t take long. Laci Burt, Andrea Lopez, Hannah Redding and Sydney Suits quickly raised their hands, bouncing up and down on their seats seven rows up. Before Friar Tuck could finish nodding the second time, the four actors were halfway to the stage for a frolicking number in front of the packed house.

The entire evening was organized with Jeri Lynn Schulke at PlayMakers Repertory Company and Jessie Austrian, the show’s director and friend of JMArts. It was offered free of charge to students, thanks to generous contributors to JMArts, the Jordan-Matthews Arts Foundation.

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 JM actors share a photo with actors from “Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood” after a post-show discussion at PlayMakers Repertory Company.

JM actors share a photo with actors from “Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood” after a post-show discussion at PlayMakers Repertory Company.

Pig Out for JMArts annual fundraiser returns Sept. 7

SILER CITY, N.C. — Pig Out for JMArts, the second-annual barbecue fundraiser for arts students at Jordan-Matthews High School, will be held on Friday, September 7.

Plates are $8 each and include chopped pork barbecue by chef Gary Lamach, slaw, bread, drink and dessert. Plates will be served from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. for “eat-in” at the JM Cafeteria or “take out” in a drive-through line beginning near the school’s main entrance.

Anyone attending the home football game with Chatham Central may take plates into the stadium.

All proceeds are used by JMArts, the nonprofit Jordan-Matthews Arts Foundation, for projects that include scholarships for student artists to study on university campuses during the summer, funding for the school’s November production of “The Little Mermaid,” tickets for students to attend professional performances and supplies for visual artists.

Tickets are now on sale now at the school’s front office and plates may be purchased the night of the barbecue. Cash and checks made payable to JMArts will be accepted in the school office. Credit cards also will be accepted the night of the barbecue.

JMArts is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. More about the foundation, including how to become a member, is available online at JMArts.org.

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