High School Students Tour Old Church Gallery

The Old Church Gallery’s engagement with the local community continues to expand. On February 14 a dual-enrollment Floyd County High School English class taught by Amanda Biviano spent part of the day learning about the Gallery’s collections and their connection to local culture.

The class split into two groups: while one group was taking part in an introductory tour of the Gallery itself, hosted by Janet Keith, the other students gathered at the adjacent Hotel Floyd to hear Catherine Pauley’s lecture on the relationship between her own artwork–she is a retired Floyd County High School art teacher–and the class’s research theme of the local culture of “home.”

Catherine Pauley discussing her artwork to students at the Hotel Floyd.

As part of the project, the students will be expected to produce new material and media. They will first read novels set in Appalachia, and then research, write, and create digital projects on varied traditions and customs, along with the challenges faced in our area. Some of the topics covered in the novels they are reading include religion, farming, appreciation for the land and native plant species, as well as regional problems such as the opioid crisis and issues of natural resource depletion.

This project continues through the remainder of this school semester, and the Old Church Gallery and its staff will serve as a guide for the class, using resources from our archives and website on Floyd County and Appalachian customs, culture, and challenges.