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High School art students display art at Sugarlands and Park Headquarters

fitz and the tantrums
Glacier Bay by Cristian Myers. Image courtesy of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

GATLINBURG, TN — Watercolor prints created by local art students at Gatlinburg-Pittman High School (GPHS) will be on display at Sugarlands Visitor Center and at Park Headquarters through May 12. The exhibit is part of National Park Week, April 19 through April 27.

GPHS art students recently completed a watercolor landscape project on America's National Parks in honor of National Park Week. Each student selected a park unit from across the nation including well known sites such as Grand Canyon National Park and lesser known treasures such as Lake Clark. Students created a watercolor image of a unique scene that reflected the essence of the parks and also included information sheets that share interesting facts about each site.

"Watercolor is a perfect medium for capturing the beauty and majesty of America's national parks. Since my family has been so fortunate to visit many of these unique places, I wanted to share them with my students. Through this assignment the students have the opportunity to learn about the diversity and scope of our national park system,” said GPHS Art Teacher and Artist Alice Fisher. “This year, Park Ranger Emily Guss visited each class and explained to the students how these places actually belong to us as American citizens, and about how we must assist in their preservation."

Projects are currently displayed along the walls of GPHS to help make the school community aware of our National Parks. As the students investigated parks, they learned how each place is unique and special allowing them the opportunity to appreciate the work and diversity of the national park system.

"I've never been to Dry Tortugas National Park, but now I would love to visit it!” said GPHS student Rochelle Guenther.

The National Park Service, through the Call to Action plan, has challenged parks to involve youth in creating new expressions of the park experience through media such as art in the Arts Afire program initiative. These program initiatives provide unique opportunities for youth to be involved in the upcoming Centennial Celebration in 2016.

"Before we did this project, I had no idea that Hawaii actually had national parks!” said GPHS student Tanner Tschirn.

The following pieces will be displayed at Sugarlands Visitor Center and at Park Headquarters: Grand Canyon by McKenzie Smith; Gates of the Arctic by Chelsea Owens; North Cascades by Jaynie Renfro; Bryce Canyon by Megan Blazer; Acadia by Morgan Gibson; Saguaro by Taylor Heaney; Glacier Bay by Cristian Myers; and Theodore Roosevelt by Lindsey Campbell.

For more information about the Centennial Celebration for the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, please visit

Published April 18, 2014

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