students work on their artwork for ceramic tiles
The upcoming solar eclipse in April of 2024 will be more than just a memorable experience for students at Jefferson Elementary and Cape Central High. The two schools are collaborating with professional artists to celebrate the special event through art. Henry Dean, a professor at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia, is working on an art installation, Now and Then, featuring six pieces of artwork between Maine and Texas. 

Dean is collaborating with second-grade students at Jefferson and Cape Central High art students to decorate park benches with ceramic tiles. Dean encouraged students to use the solar eclipse as inspiration for their tiles. The two decorated benches will be placed at Southside Farms along with a sculpture created by Dean, giving people a place to admire Dean's artwork.

"I hope it's a place people can come appreciate nature and get a break from technology," said Dean. 

"It's really important for these kids to be involved in their community and see their artwork outside of the classroom," said Jenny Bittner, Jefferson Elementary's art teacher.

Rob Lorenz of Riverside Pottery and the Southeast Arts Council are also helping Dean with this special collaborative art project. The benches and sculpture will unveiled on April 8th, the day of the eclipse. Professor Dean speaks to students