By Elizabeth Lanier
The Morgan County High School (MCHS) Art Dogs hosted the Grand Opening of their Peace of Cake Cupcake Factory on Tuesday, April 11 from 5 p.m.-9 p.m. For the past seven weeks, the Art Dogs at MCHS, as well as their art teacher Ty Manning, have been busy turning the art room into a cupcake factory. The idea to turn the art room into a cupcake factory stemmed from a project based learning assignment Manning created. Manning is weeks away from earning his master’s degree in art education from the University of Florida where he has been researching the benefits of collaboration in the classroom. The factory is part of his final capstone project.
Manning began the project by teaching his students about Red Grooms, a paper mache artist who uses the help of other artists to help his creations come to life. After learning about Grooms, Manning asked his students to create an art installation that displayed the importance of teamwork. “The students had several great ideas. After some intense brainstorming and a good old democratic vote, they settled on creating ‘The Peace of Cake Cupcake Factory’”, stated Manning.
“The idea was simple. All businesses have to work as a team to be successful. Since MCHS has a top-notch culinary arts department, they knew we could collaborate with them and make real cupcakes too,” Manning explained. The culinary arts students, however, were not the only ones who helped out with the factory. The project was a group effort between various classes in the school; Visual Arts, Culinary Arts, Marketing, Audio Visual, Science, Welding, and the students from the special education classes all helped out.
“The grand opening was a celebration of all who helped. There was art, live music, cupcakes, coffee and a huge crowd. The MCHS chorus performed next door in the auditorium from 7 p.m.- 8 p.m., We also had MCPS artwork on display. Leslie Ryals’ 1st graders made cupcakes too! She even walked her classes over Wednesday and Thursday to visit the cupcake factory,” said Manning. He also went on to say, “Kimberly Peele, a freshman Art Dog asked, ‘Awesome, but how will we top this cupcake factory?’ I said, ‘WE have a year to figure it out!’ I can’t wait!”