Art and Diversity

“Art… is an attempt to bring order out of chaos.”

-Stephen Sondheim

Just a few weeks back Pentucket Regional High School welcomed a new student originally from many miles away. Abdullah is from Rohingya, which is located near Bangladesh in Asia. Although the similarities between Rohingya and here may be very slim, Abdullah has found one of the connections our area shares with his.

Coming from a chaotic environment back at home, Abdullah has found comfort in a certain place in our school…the art room.

Although Abdullah speaks very little English, many are reaching out to help him understand this new world around him. Sheryl Lees, an important figure in his transition, is eager to know more information and facts so she can better relate to him.

As Abdullah is beginning to understand the ways of our school and community, he has been creating artwork in the classroom and as Lees said, “Abdullah works productively all class and always says hello and always says goodbye.”

Not only is Abdullah a pleasure to have in our school, but he has created some truly amazing artwork. As one of the first assignments he created, Abdullah produced a radial design. A radial design is any type of balance based on a circle with its design extending from the center. Rather than creating his design like most of the other students, Abdullah took a different approach to his.

Among the radial design, Abdullah has recently been working on an emulation of a landscape painting of Burma. The piece is called “Burma Shave Road Signs”, originally created by Tom Brown.

PRHS has certainly given Abdullah a welcoming hello. Senior, Davis Jackson, said “I think by students becoming familiar with cultures around the world, we receive a cool opportunity to connect with people who we originally wouldn’t.”

Not only have students and teachers helped Abdullah and made him feel at home, but some have gone an extra distance out of their way. Lees not only wants to know more about him, but she has done research and has become a popular advocate for Abdullah’s new experience.

It is interesting to see our school connect with someone from so far away, and certainly creates a new experience for all. But what truly is amazing is that, the language and culture may separate our worlds, but art… can bring it all together.