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South Charleston Middle School students create centennial-themed collage for city

By Ben Calwell, Metro Reporter
Three South Charleston Middle School art students created a fabric collage for South Charleston’s 100th anniversary this year. Students Makayla Paris, left; Macy Belcher, second from left and Ashlyn Williamson, far right, created the collage during their respective art classes. They presented the collage to Mayor Frank Mullens on May 18 at City Hall. Joining them is SCMS art teacher Jenna Hill.
The collage was made using Bali fabric, which has raised textures. It features the Mound and the words “Someplace Special.”

A colorful fabric collage that captures the spirit of South Charleston will be on display at various venues throughout the city this year, during the town’s 100th anniversary.

Made by South Charleston Middle School art students Makayla Paris, Macy Belcher and Ashlyn Williamson, the collage was presented to South Charleston Mayor Frank Mullens at City Hall.

SCMS art teacher Jenna Hill said the students’ collage was made from “Bali fabric” donated to them by a local quilter. Bali fabric has raised patterns and textures.

“We had a design idea, and the students picked out the fabrics and laid them next to each other to see which colors would pop,” Hill said.

Since the three students aren’t in the same art class at school, they each worked on the piece separately during their particular class time, building upon what the others had done.

In fact, prior to presenting the work to Mullens, a couple of the students hadn’t even met each other.

“Every time they came to class, one other person had worked on it, so they kept on adding [to it]. They got to see each other’s work, but they never saw each other. They had to iron the fabric, cut it and wrap it around the back of the board so that all the edges were covered in fabric,” Hill said.

The collage’s design was a collaborative effort of Hill and the three students.

“We wanted it to be about the centennial. We wanted to keep it simple and be all about the fabric patterns and the textures. It was a small group, collaborative effort. They had a lot of fun making it,” she said.

Even though they worked on the collage independently of each other, Ashlyn said the collage was a fun project.

“We got to do each part, and we got to see each other’s work and how it was coming along,” Ashlyn said.

The collage features the words “Someplace Special” at the bottom. The Mound along MacCorkle Avenue also plays into the design.

“It’s got a lot of creativity to it,” Makayla said.

Macy said the Mound is one of South Charleston’s signature attractions, and as such, she and the others wanted to include it on the collage.

“I love the idea of the Mound on there ,since it’s such an iconic part of South Charleston. It was so fun to do,” Macy said.

The students’ collage calls attention to South Charleston’s centennial, and the city has a number of 100th-anniversary events scheduled throughout the year.

One of the big events is an Aug. 9 birthday party beginning at noon around the Mound. Also that day, there will be free admission to city recreation facilities and the sealing of a time capsule at City Hall beginning at 1:30 p.m.

Many other events are planned in August, as well.

For more information about South Charleston’s centennial celebration, call 304-744-5301 or 304-746-5552 or visit Also visit South Charleston’s Facebook page.


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