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Commentary: Mailbag: Teacher urges public to see Hoover High art show spurred by October melee

This week, Hoover High School celebrated the grand opening of our Student Art Gallery with “INSIGHT,” an exhibition of student artwork, performances and hands-on activities that explore and celebrate identity, respect and unity.

As a Hoover teacher and director of the Hoover Media Arts Academy (MAAc), I have the pleasure of working with an incredibly talented group of student artists. Many of my students were upset by the negative attention given to our school back in October. They did not feel the reports, which focused on the actions of a relatively small group of students in a population of 1,600, were an accurate depiction of the Hoover community at large. So they decided to do something about it. This year, our school built a Student Art Gallery and our first exhibition, “INSIGHT,” just opened.

“INSIGHT” was created and curated by three senior MAAc students: Jamie Calica, Julia Loughlin and Amanda Martinez. Campus clubs and organizations hosted interactive events during the exhibition to encourage conversation and “insight” into who we are as a community.

Since October, our community has been holding a series of restorative meetings which are giving us the opportunity to look deeply into the issues we face in regards to race, culture and identity. We do not shy away from difficult conversations and believe that all issues can be solved with the empathy and understanding that comes from open and honest communication.


I hope that you will join us at Hoover and witness for yourself the good work these students have done.

Visit “INSIGHT” at the Hoover High School Open House on Thursday, Feb. 28, from 6 to 8 p.m. Open to the community.

Allison Stewart

Hoover High School teacher