School renovation raises question about future of artwork
December 18, 2018 By:MHS Piper
By Nadia Lopez
When much of McNary’s art wing is demolished this spring, there is a question as to what to do about much of the historic artwork that currently graces its walls.
A large portion of McNary is getting taken down for construction that will begin this spring and continue for about 15 months for new classrooms, parking, and much more.
Room 53, which is slated for destruction, currently holds a collection of artwork created by Mr. Ken Collins, a beloved art and theatre teacher at McNary who died in 2007. His paintings, many of movie star James Dean, currently hang in the art room of Mr. Jason Heimerdinger. The question as to what to do with all of Collin´s art work is still unknown and is still being looked into.
Many people felt very close to Collins and will miss him dearly. His artwork inspired people, including those who apply their talents to McNary today.
“Ken Collins was an art teacher here at McNary for several years. The first time I had ever heard of Collins was from my aunt who had him as an art teacher, “ said McNary art teacher Mr. Jason Heimerdinger. “She would tell me stories about how he was proud of her art and had encouraged her to keep working on her art and she did.”
“Then he went on to be a theatre teacher and he was really the talk of the town,” Heimerdinger said.
“Keizer had really appreciated his plays because everyone could really tell that he had so much passion for everything that he did. Collins had more than one student who now has achieved the status as far as working in the world of theatre,” Heimerdinger said.
McNary art teacher Mr. Mark Kohley agrees that Collins art is a significant part of McNary’s history.
“Ken Collins’ art is important to keep alive and to keep up and running in the school because it’s history, not to mention how much value his art was … due to the fact that he was a memorable art teacher here at McNary,“ Kohley said.