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Spring Arts Night Gives Young Artists a Venue to Showcase Their Talents

Ms. Nicole Parker
May 14, 2024
Spring Arts Night Ryukyu MS

OKINAWA – Spring Arts Night, a vibrant celebration of creativity, talent, and artistic expression, took place on April 25th at Ryukyu Middle School in Okinawa, Japan.

This was the second year of what is becoming a bi-annual event, spearheaded by two remarkable educators, Ms. Carolyn Lloyd, art teacher, and Ms. Theresa Snook, choir and drama teacher.

A Canvas of Imagination: The Art Show

The heart of the Spring Arts Night was the art show, where student masterpieces adorned the walls and tables, each piece a testament to their creativity and skill. Parents, students, teachers, and community members gathered to appreciate the diverse artwork students created.

“I was delighted to see student artists proudly sharing the best and most meaningful of their artworks with friends and family members,” said Ms. Lloyd. “They put so much thought and effort into their ceramics, drawings, paintings and passion projects, and the RYMS community was an appreciative audience for their work!”

The attendees, with big smiles and intense focus, evaluated the artworks, recognizing the dedication and passion behind each piece, and voted for their favorites. As the evening unfolded votes were counted and medals were awarded, celebrating not only students’ technical skills, but also their creativity and originality.

Spring Arts Night Ryukyu MS
Students and parents view the art on display during the art show. Photo by Kowshon Ye 


Spring Arts Night Ryukyu MS
A collection of “personal objects” art was on display from the sixth grade students. Photo by Kowshon Ye


Spring Arts Night Ryukyu MS
Students explore the art show and take time to admire their favorite pieces. Photo by Kowshon Ye


Spring Arts Night Ryukyu MS
The young artists’ 3D art was on prominent display during the art show. Photo by Kowshon Ye


Spotlight on the Stage: Drama Performances

The stage came alive with anticipation as students prepared to showcase their dramatic talents. Two captivating performances unfolded before an eager audience. Under the guidance of Ms. Snook, students stepped into character, their voices projecting out to the audience.

“I was so proud of the drama students,” Ms. Theresa Snook shared. “Both drama classes had wonderful performances! For many of them, it was the first time on the stage. The students not only learned about acting, but also the technical side of theater, as some students were the technical crew for the other class. Both shows were student-run productions. They also discovered the importance of trusting each other and working together as a team.”

Spring Arts Night Ryukyu MS
The cast performing “Where in the World is Princess Poppy” by Jennifer Reif to open the Spring Arts Night. Photo by Kowshon Ye 


Spring Arts Night Ryukyu MS
Students in costume and character as they perform the first play of the evening. Photo by Kowshon Ye


Spring Arts Night Ryukyu MS
Students give a dramatic introduction to the second play of the evening, “The Mysterious Case of the Missing Ring” by Janie Downey Maxwell. Photo by Kowshon Ye


Spring Arts Night Ryukyu MS
Three drama students in action as they perform in the second play of the evening. Photo by Kowshon Ye


Spoken Word Magic: The Poetry Slam

On the stage between drama performances, the poetry slam unfolded—a fusion of rhythm, emotion, and raw vulnerability. Students took the stage, their hearts pounding, ready to share their poetry. Original poems were performed, tackling growing up, family, and societal pressures.

“The students’ poems were amazing, and they were so brave to share their poetry up on the stage,” said Ms. Andrea Petz, IC specialist and judge for the event. “This was the fourth annual poetry slam. It was planned and facilitated by myself and Shelby Ye, both ELA teachers at RYMS. Prizes were awarded for first, second, and third place, but the poetry slam wasn’t really about winning; it was about students finding their voices and connecting with others through the power of poetry.”

Spring Arts Night Ryukyu MS
A young poet bravely shares her poetry with the audience. Photo by Kowshon Ye


Spring Arts Night Ryukyu MS
The winner of the poetry slam performs her piece. Photo by Kowshon Ye


Spring Arts Night Ryukyu MS
Two of the poetry slam judges hold their scores up after a performance. Photo by Kowshon Ye


Spring Arts Night Ryukyu MS
The poets gather on stage for a photo together after the slam. Photo by Kowshon Ye


A Resounding Success

As the night unfolded, the school community came together in support of these young artists. One of the students who participated in the art show said, “I won one of the categories, but it was more about the art for me and not so much about the competition. It was fun and inspiring!”

For the students, this opportunity was more than an event; it was a steppingstone toward self-discovery and growth.

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