7th Annual Sandy Springs Festival: We Are All Artists

Oct 3, 2018 | All School, Fine Arts, Middle School News, Uncategorized, Upper School News

Mount Vernon exhibited both visual and performing arts at the 7th Annual Sandy Springs Festival, which offered two exciting days of art, live music, cultural performances, a pet parade, Chalk Walk Art Competition, 10K and 5K race, children’s programming, classic rides, gourmet and festival food options, and much more. The Sandy Springs Festival has grown from a small picnic to a major event, drawing over 20,000 attendees.
Art instructor and chalk art mentor Hank Kunath reflects on his students’ experience, “It was an awesome day today for seventh grade MVPS artists. Each one of them represented our school well, showing how creative, talented, and fearless they are, always reflecting that we truly are all artists!”
Congratulations to Grace Westmoreland, Charlotte Goerdel, and Reagan Hickey who were awarded 2nd Place for their vivid Peacock.

The officers of the Mount Vernon International Thespian Society created skits about the history of Sandy Springs. These roaming “pop-ups from the past” brought the history of Sandy Springs to life in an interactive way for the crowd. Wearing period costumes, the troupe gave a series of performances at multiple locations ranging from the Williams-Payne House Garden Room to the Artists Market.
Students partnered with Keith Moore (Heritage Sandy Springs Director of Curatorial & Educational Affairs) & Susan Beard (longtime Sandy Springs resident and Heritage volunteer) to write five original scripts and learn an additional four pre-written scripts based on research that Heritage provided to the students. We then partnered with local period costumer Catherine Thomas who provided period clothing for the students to wear. Keith and Susan came to Mount Vernon to give feedback on the students’ scripts a week before the festival and the students engaged in a dialogue about the history of our city and how to convey the spirit of Sandy Springs during the festival. On festival day, the students were led by Brittany Schmutzler and toured the grounds of the festival sharing their knowledge in impromptu flash-mob style performances that led festival attendees to the newly-renovated Williams Payne House museum.
Director of Curatorial & Educational Affairs for Heritage Sandy Springs Keith Moore, shares, “Thank you again for participating in our Sandy Springs Festival! I’ve heard AMAZING things from multiple staff members and volunteers who witnessed the students performances, and I know I was very impressed with the few that I was able to catch. It was so great to be able to have you all here to help engage the community with their local history, and it sounded like they learned a thing or two also–which is what we’re all about.  I know the map was very expansive and it was extremely hot. Thank you so much, for all of your efforts and to the kids who stuck it out in the hot weather. We are beyond grateful that they were willing to get involved and take up the historical characters with so much enthusiasm. We definitely saw increased traffic at the museum on Saturday so we know their efforts were not in vain!”
Pictured left to right: Anna Weber, Arden Adams, Jack Armstrong, Shannon McCarthy, and Jake Lortz, with Ashley Hall in the front.