The Kelly Tyrrelll Gill Night of the Arts, hosted by Milford High School (MHS) Visual and Performing Arts Department, was held on Thursday,May 14. While visual arts students displayed their work throughout the hallways of the school, Milford’s talented performing art students including the MHS jazz and concert bands and chamber and concert choirs honored the late Kelly Tyrrell Gill.
Kelly Tyrrelll Gill was an art teacher at the Milford High School who passed away in 2009 after fighting a courageous battle with cancer. At the young age of 38, she was not only a talented artist and teacher but also served the community as she coached high school girls in the sports of field hockey and softball. As an instrumental part of developing the Night of the Arts at the Milford High School, Kelly is now honored by her colleagues and friends with the bi-annual event.
Karine Richards, Visual Arts Teacher at Milford High School and organizer of the Night of the Arts, believes that Kelly’s impact on the Milford community continues on through the lessons she instilled in her art students.
“When I first came to Milford I met her a few times as she came in to help me,” said Richards. “Everyone knew how talented she was and her students loved her so much and really missed her.”
The importance of the Night of the Arts continues Tyrrell’s legacy by demonstrating to students that expression and presentation of their work is very much a part of visual and performing arts. Art students displayed two- and three-dimensional art across the school. In the following days students evaluated and discussed their own work and that of their peers.
“The arts are a big part of our culture and it coincides with what students re learning in other class,” said Richards. “There are a few students that are not interested in other classes but excel in arts. It is great to see them get their time to shine. The kids enjoy seeing their work and the work of other students.”
Honoring the memory of Kelly Tyrrell Gill, the Night of the Arts also stresses the importance of art in the education of young minds. Organizers hope that the talent of the students will demonstrate how critical visual and performing are as a part of the public education system and how students can carry those skills with them after graduation.
“[After graduation] I hope students are always able to find time for appreciation of art and find some way that it can connect in other areas of their lives.”
A bi-annual event, the next Kelly Tyrrell Gill Night of the Arts will be held at the Milford High School in December of 2015.