Although our Lit Arts Theme Day was unfortunately cancelled due to the school closure, we organized one last virtual hurrah for this year’s theme. Chalk Art is a spring Lit Arts tradition, and this year, we wanted to bring that tradition to the entire VSAA community.

This year’s annual art theme is entitled Our Stories: Within You and Without You. At the beginning of the school year, we read Latinx literature, students attended the Portland Center Stage production of In the Heights, and we hosted guest musician Edna Vasquez. In January and February, we had two powerful theme showcases: Jeannie Smith came to share her mother’s story as a Holocaust survivor, and we saw the play Baseball Saved Us, depicting the experiences of a Japanese American family during WWII. You may remember that our guiding acronym for the year is PEER, with each word corresponding to a quarter of the school year: 1) Perspective, 2) Empathy, 3) Equity, and 4) Revelation.

To wrap up this year’s theme, we turn to the final word of our acronym: “revelation.” This word of course means “to reveal,” but in a personally significant or even spiritual sense. Our Lit Arts team’s hope for the end of the year was to take our theme inward (“within you”) in order to learn how the process of listening to others’ stories has changed you. In the Beatles song which inspired our title, “Within You Without You,” George Harrison sings:

When you’ve seen beyond yourself
Then you may find peace of mind is waiting there
And the time will come when you see we’re all one
And life flows on within you and without you

The idea of a personal “revelation” has become even more acute for us in quarantine, as we have spent more time alone, but collectively so. Our Lit Arts team is excited to offer this virtual Chalk Art experience in order to celebrate and share in each other’s “revelation.”

Artwork below created by (clockwise from left): 8th grader Lennox Blodget, 9th grader Mathias Huck, 10th grader Mahle Dunham, 7th grader Ellis Crain-Keddie, and 6th grader Ginger Knudson.