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The Compass Project Gallery Show Reminds MHS to “Be Golden”

The recently opened gallery show in theClyde Stacks Visual Arts Center unites student art and the Milton Hershey School mission. Titled “The Compass Project: Milton Hershey School Sacred Values and Social & Emotional Learning,” the show will be on display through March 27, 2020. It uses both the wall space and tabletop space to tell a story.

Museum Educator and Coordinator of Visual Arts John Davis worked with Diana Davis, MHS Social and Emotional Learning Curriculum Supervisor, to select dozens of photographs that tell the story of The Compass Project, a program designed to help students in pre-K through 12th grade discover their values with a foundation in social and emotional learning. The photographs are grouped into the four Sacred Values of the school: positive spirit, integrity, commitment to the mission, and mutual respect. They hang across three walls in the gallery.

“The overall goal of the exhibit is to showcase exemplary situations where the Sacred Values and social and emotional learning are taking place with our students, and to reinforce the Compass framework,” John said.

On another wall, there is a compass made from fused glass that MHS students along with a local artist created. The glass compass is surrounded in a clock-like pattern by student paintings. Students painted each of the 12 circular canvases with their own interpretation of The Compass Project during their first week back to campus this school year.

The Compass Project Art Gallery

Just a few steps to the right of the compass piece sits a display of kintsugi, a Japanese form of art that uses gold to fix broken pottery. MHS students and staff learned about kintsugi on the first day of the 2019-20 school year. Visual and written pieces about kintsugi sit on two pillars decorated with more images from this year’s Opening of School Assembly theme, “Be Golden.”

“Not only is it the focused theme this year for the school, but it also has a direct correlation with ‘living’ the school’s Sacred Values intrinsically and otherwise,” John added.

Even with these pieces of art and photography placed along the walls of the gallery space, much of the room still remains open. John said it was arranged this way to allow the use of the space for meetings and other functions. In doing so, the messages of The Compass Project and “Be Golden” serve as visible reminders and ongoing inspiration for MHS students and staff.

Learn more about Visual and Performing Arts at MHS.

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