New President Mayra Brown Paints Big Plans for National Art Honor Society

Oxirydiana Salas-Carmona, Staff Writer

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Tyeirra Lynch
Mayra Brown may be busy, but she is set to use her new position as president of the National Art Honors Society to expand the organization’s reach.

Elected president of the 2019-2020 National Art Honor Society at Norristown Area High School, Mayra Brown, senior, is overjoyed with her new position in the club.

Since she was the only person who stepped up to the plate, she was immediately elected as president, assuring her the position of the president for the 2018-2019 school year. “At the moment, when they were doing elections, it was more of who had the courage to run and there weren’t a lot of people who ran against me, so it was pretty easy to secure the title,” stated Brown. With this new responsibility that she now holds, Brown has to find a balance between art and school work.

Brown must juggle the responsibilities of the position with an already busy schedule: Weighted Honors classes, Advanced Placement classes, being part of Norristown’s Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) and maintaining an after school job at the Shannondell retirement community.

“Even if I wasn’t elected president, I still would’ve stayed in the club because the year I joined the National Art Honor Society was the year that I didn’t have any art classes. Since I wanted to focus on academics, which was also the last year I had to boost up my GPA,” Brown confessed. “I’m apart of other clubs, but this is the only one I’m actually part of the board. This club comes before all the other ones, so this is very important to me.”

When Brown was younger she wasn’t able to gain much inspiration for art. “My parents aren’t really into art. I’ve seen my mom make me a drawing like once.”

With college creeping around the corner, Brown and her parents have been showing support for her future plans. “At first I wanted to be a doctor, but once I told my dad that I didn’t want to be a doctor anymore, he was surprised,” Brown said. “Now he’s unsure that I know what I want, but I know they’re both supportive and not controlling or anything about what I want to do.” This encouragement allows her to pursue her interest in art.

Although her parents weren’t the ones who got her started in art, Brown’s siblings would soon become the catalysts that began it all. “I can say that both of my siblings are artistic because they’re really good at drawing since we were little, so you can say that it’s in the household.”

This lead to her and her siblings having drawing competitions between the three of them. “We would have two minutes to draw stuff. Since its three of us, two of us will draw and the other would choose which one is better,” she said. The artistic moments she spends with her siblings still drive her to pursue her passion for art.

Brown also provides another reason as to why her passion for art has continued to blossom, stating, “I feel like when you’re younger and in pre-school, it was always encouraged to draw and make things.”

She would go on to join her middle school’s art club at Stewart middle school, as well as attend some courses at the Wayne Art Center in Wayne, Pennsylvania. “I went because I was apart of an academy that wasn’t related to art at all, and they chose me to go for free and I accepted,” Brwon said.  Now a senior at Norristown Area High School, Brown has become the president of the School’s National Art Honor Society.

The National Art Honor Society was established in 1978 in the United States by the National Art Education Association for high school students grades 9-12. Its purpose is to assist student members to attain their highest potential in all forms of art and to raise awareness of art education throughout the school and community.

Eager as she is, Brown intends to do just that in this 2019-2020 school year, stating, “I really liked the community service project that we did when we made cups out of clay for the Potter’s Waters Action Group, and this year, we will be doing a project as important as the Potter’s Waters Action Group.” Potters Water Action Group (PWAG) consists of individuals and organizations that are committed to fighting the war against waterborne diseases. Since 2004, PWAG has been constructing silver enhanced, ceramic water filters that create clean drinking water. This organization continually strives to increase the efficiency of water filtration that cleans 2 ½ liters of water within an hour and costs around $20. Over the past years, the association has brought water filter facilities to Honduras, Haiti, Sudan, Iraq, and the Dominican Republic. This simple and portable invention makes all of these water filters a possibility.

Last year, the National Honor Society wanted to help produce clean water,  so this year Brown is focused on expanding the group’s outreach to other issues. “This year’s project, we’re doing something similar to the project we did with the Potter’s Waters Action Group where we’re making bowls out of clay for the empty bowls organization.”

Since 2004, Empty Bowls became an international project to fight hunger all across the world. This organization seeks to help raise money to feed the people in need around the world, increase awareness of hunger and its related issues, and advocate for arts education. Empty Bowls allows participating artists and groups to create and donate bowls. One hundred percent of each meal’s proceeds are devoted to local hunger-fighting organizations, such as food banks and soup kitchens. Empty Bowls now supports food-related charities around the world and has raised millions of dollars to fight hunger. To be part of such an amazing and life-changing organization, the National Art Honor Society is proud to represent Norristown Area High School with its association with them.

Currently balancing her daily life as well as school and work, Brown is confident in her position as the new  of the National Art Honor Society. As the year moves onto the next, Brown and the club hope to attract new members as well as bring more awareness to organizations that provide help to those in need.