SECCA Works With Local High School Students to Create Large Wall Mural

WINSTON-SALEM – The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) recently held an artist residency at Ronald Reagan High School, located at 3750 Transou Road in Pfafftown. The residency by American paper artist Johannes VanDerBeek is part of SECCA’s ongoing educational outreach initiative called The Intersections Project (TIP).

During the 3-day program, students in Ms. Jennifer Rice’s art classes worked with VanDerBeek to create a permanent piece of artwork for the Reagan High School Media Center. VanDerBeek taught the students his method of using compressed and sanded magazines to create the large-scale work. Each student worked on smaller parts of the whole mural composition.

VanDerBeek is one of 15 international artists in SECCA’s current exhibition paperless, which is on view until Sept. 16, 2012. VanDerBeek has two works in the exhibition: Ruins and Time Tomb. To create his artwork, he compresses and sands magazines like Time, Life and National Geographic into the building blocks of his large-scale contemporary murals.

The intent of the TIP program is teaching students traditional subjects in an innovative way through art. The program was developed by educators, artists, The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA), The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County and the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Board. These educational experiences address learning objectives in the visual arts as well as in other disciplines such as science, technology, engineering, math, language arts and others.

SECCA applied for an Arts and Education Grant from The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County to create TIP. SECCA was awarded the grant for three years for a total of $26,820 (2009-10 — $8,820; 2010-11 — $9,000; 2011-12 — $9,000).

SECCA’s Executive Director Mark Leach says, “The objective of the TIP program overall is to connect the disciplines through the arts. The lessons can be used by teachers across North Carolina. In addition, all of the TIP lesson plans support the National Common Core and North Carolina Essential Standards in multiple disciplines and encourage project-based learning through the arts.”

SECCA is open Tuesday through Sunday for those who wish to see VanDerBeek’s work in paperless. Admission to SECCA galleries is free. For hours of operation, visit

To see the students’ work, please call Reagan High School at 336.703.6776 to make an appointment with the school media center.