The beige-colored dugouts at Crothersville High School’s softball field are a thing of the past.
With the recent work of Adam Robinson’s visual communications class, the dugouts now feature images of softball player positions over bright colors.
The home team’s dugout features blue player cutouts with red, orange and yellow in the background, while the visiting team’s dugout has red cutouts with a yellow, green and blue background.
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“Like all projects, it started with a desire to make something more aesthetically pleasing,” Robinson said. “My principal, vice principal, our athletic director and myself wanted the dugouts to look as beautiful as they could. My students did the rest. It never ceases to amaze me how kids can step up when faced with an idea and an opportunity.”
Athletic director Greg Kilgore brought the idea to Robinson. He shared it with his students, who in turn designed the project.
The design work was done in the classroom, and the students were able to paint the two dugouts — which are 24 feet wide and 8 feet tall — in one school day.
“Students drew (the softball player images) and cut the stencils out. They then used complimentary colors to make them stand out,” Robinson said. “The surface of the dugouts was incredibly rough and created several problems. The students adapted to the different surface and hit the ground running.”
Freshman Dakotah Boggs said she helped make a couple parts of the cutouts and put some of them together and also helped paint the dugouts.
“I thought painting everything was going to be the hardest part since there was a lot to do in so little of time, but it was actually really easy,” she said.
“I liked how it gave us an experience on how to do things by ourselves without being told exactly how to do it,” she said. “It felt like even though everyone is different, people can always come together and make something amazing. It seemed like after that, everyone had a closer bond than we all did beforehand.”
Freshman Destiney Fox also helped with all aspects of the project.
“It was fun, and the way it worked out with the time was awesome,” she said.
Fox attends Austin High School but takes the visual communications class at Crothersville. She said it was nice working with students from another school.
“Considering I’m originally from a bigger school, coming together with this smaller school and doing something so big was such a great experience,” she said. “We have so much fun and worked so well together.”
Robinson was happy with the finished product.
“I was amazed. I couldn’t be more proud of my students,” he said. “The biggest problem with kids and art isn’t their talent levels. It is their lack of self-esteem. I hope they learn to trust their abilities and know that when working together, they can accomplish anything.”
The students also liked how the dugouts turned out.
“I think we did really good on it. With how much time we had and how that was pretty much everyone’s first time doing something like that, we did pretty good,” Boggs said.
“I loved the finish product,” Fox said. “It was so colorful.”
Others at the school and in the community have taken notice of the artwork.
“The community has been incredibly appreciative and complimentary,” Robinson said.
“I’ve heard people say it was good and that we did a good job on it,” Boggs said. “Then people also talked to my friends and I about how it looked and asked how we did it and complimented us on it.”
This is the second year visual communications has been offered at Crothersville. It’s a dual credit art course available through the school’s partnership with Ivy Tech Community College.
The entry-level college course covers a broad spectrum of different materials and mediums, Robinson said.
“We are following a curriculum set up by Ivy Tech. Each chapter we cover coincides with an assignment,” he said. “When dealing with art projects, it is hard to determine how many will be done in a particular time period. It really comes down to the medium and subject matter.”
The class averages 15 students each year. Those who pass the class earn three Ivy Tech college credits.
Fox said she has benefited from taking the class.
“It has taught me to be more creative and think outside of the box,” she said. “I could consider doing something in college that includes this class.”
Junior Megan Fisher said the class has helped her, too.
“It definitely benefits toward my college degree, of which I hope to major in drawing and illustration,” she said. “It gives me a very good sense of what to expect in college, as well as educating and better understanding ways to improve my art.”
Robinson said the class still has a lot to cover and learn this school year. In the spring, the plans are to paint the dugouts at the baseball field, which is undergoing renovations.
By the end of the school year, Robinson said he hopes the students take away at least a couple of things — besides college credits — from the class.
“A love for art,” he said, “and a realization that art is everywhere and deserves respect.”