Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® and local businesses partner with Sherando High School Art Department students on Festival-inspired coloring book
Winchester, VA – Coloring book enthusiasts are in for a special treat this spring thanks to a partnership between the Sherando High School art department and Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival®. Last year SHS art teacher, Jillian Legge, approached the Festival with the idea of a community project and fundraiser for her students to design a Festival-inspired coloring book highlighting popular Apple Blossom events. “This project is so much more than just learning in the classroom. It showcases the artistic talent of the students in our schools and helps raise funds for our program. Most importantly, it has been an incredible self-esteem booster for the students and provides an opportunity to bring joy to the community,” Legge stated. The high school art department has a strong need to raise funds for upgrades like new pottery wheels, light tables for image transfers, art supplies, educational experiences, and trips for the students. Engaging the next generation of festivalgoers continues to be a priority for the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® and this partnership has opened another door to working with and supporting local students. This project has proven to be a perfect fit for both organizations.
High school participation has been an integral part of the Festival since its inception. High school bands march in our parades, showcasing their musical talents. Elementary students sing and perform on stage during the Coronation of Queen Shenandoah. The coloring book project reveals the incredible artistic talents and shares a glimpse of their personal interests. SHS student, Connor Sanders shared, “In creating the 10K race page, I saw this as an opportunity to combine my love of art with my love for sports. I wanted it to be more than a coloring page, allowing for creative expression where each person can incorporate their own drawings by adding faces to the runners, as well as bib numbers."
Students used a variety of techniques and drawing styles including hand and digitally drawn. Hand drawn art was created on paper and then digitally uploaded while the digitally drawn art was captured on tablets and computers using a stylus. Some student design inspiration came through shared event and venue photos, while others ventured out to capture photos of the landscape to incorporate into their art. SHS art student Annalise Sison described her inspiration as, “For my piece in the coloring book, I started by looking up different Apple Blossom parade floats. Once I picked one, I went to downtown Winchester and took pictures of the Handley Library. Using older images of the parade float I chose and my photos of the library as references, I drew out a rough idea of the coloring book page. After that, I uploaded the sketch onto my computer and used it as an outline to draw my final piece digitally on my art tablet through Medibang Paint. I don't have much experience with drawing architecture, so this was a good experience for me, and I'm very grateful for the opportunity!”
Twenty-seven Sherando High School artists ranging from freshmen to seniors shared their talents in the production of the Festival coloring book and students approached local businesses requesting their financial support and being distribution outlets for the project. Four seniors in the art department recognize that they are paving the way for the next generation of art students and helping to enhance the classroom experience. These seniors understand that this project will support new resources for the classroom for years to come. SHS Senior Alleigh Nowell stated, "As a senior, I was excited for the opportunity to help contribute to a better art program for my younger brother who will be taking art as a freshman next year."
Art students who participated in the coloring book project had such a great experience that many are volunteering at the Festival’s Souvenir Store and helping spruce up the floats for the Grand Feature Parade.
Coloring books will be sold for $10/each. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the coloring books will support the Sherando High School art department. Books are on sale at the following locations beginning on Monday, March 20, 2023: Sherando High School, West Oaks Farm Market, Richards Fruit Market, Winchester Book Gallery, Lantz’s Pharmacy and Spring Valley Farmers Market. Books will be on sale at the Apple Blossom Souvenir Store in the Apple Blossom Mall in early April.
Special thanks to the generous financial support provided by Lantz’s Pharmacy, Kingspan, Commercial Press, United Bank, Stephens City Family Dentistry, Gore’s Meats, West Oaks Farm Market, Marker Miller Orchards, Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum and the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival®.
For more information, visit www.thebloom.com.
The Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival®, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting the beauty of springtime and the apple blossoms in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley through events and initiatives that enhance community spirit and showcases our local agricultural heritage.