The Avant is an art and literary magazine that showcases the creative work of BHS students. It has been a part of BHS for four years. In addition to providing students the opportunity to publish their work in a magazine, the Avant program also provides students the professional opportunity of helping the production of the magazine.
“I think it is a great way to showcase students’ creative endeavors,” art teacher Becky Weaver said. “Visual art and written work made by students is not always easily seen and read, and the Avant provides a platform to do just this. Additionally, the magazine provides a unique professional opportunity to students on the staff. The Avant is made entirely by students. They are able to work with mentors (from Sunflower Publishing) who are professionals in their field.”
“I love that it provides an outlet for students to showcase their work,” English teacher Sunny Allen said. “There’s something magical about seeing your creativity printed on glossy paper and shared for the world to see.”
The editors and apprentice editors for this year’s edition are: Olivia Miller (editor) and Jana Landreth (apprentice) for the art portion; Becky Fritzsche (editor) and Ruth Steinshouer (apprentice) for the literary portion; and Jacob Hofman and Wyatt Bathke on the marketing staff. This year’s issue is tentatively planned to be released sometime in the spring.
Students work with Sunflower Publishing, who helps to complete the magazine, and with Allen Press to print it.
“Being a part of the Avant is great,” Miller said. “I enjoy knowing how the process works and to be frank it’s difficult and stressful. However the stress is worth it in the end.”
“It is a lot of fun seeing the students work with their mentors and Sunflower Publishing and watching the students work together to make this magazine,” Weaver said. “I like how many students are involved with the process and how many students submit work.”
Both literary and art work is chosen for the Avant by a “selection committee” made up of a number of students of all grade levels.
“The work is displayed and the selection committee uses a rubric to score the work based on creativity, craftsmanship, composition and impact,” Weaver said. “Then students look at works that scored the highest. They try to select work to include a variety of media and to represent a variety of artists.”
The Avant is an important and unique part of BHS that gives creative students the chance to showcase their creativity.
“The Avant provides a place to showcase artists and writers,” Weaver said. “It is awesome that BHS has this platform because that is unique and not all high school students are able to become published. It is also a great way to share what we do in the art and English classrooms with other people at BHS and community members.”