Art builds a bridge to inspiration at NSCC

From left, NSCC art professor Jim Chisholm and members of his drawing class Tim Stigers, Brooke Colella, Drew Lauria, Nora Barry and Antwanette Johnson complete the mural that will hang in the college’s library.


LYNN — James Chisholm’s art class has given several North Shore Community College (NSCC) students a new appreciation of art.

While many of Chisholm’s students major in other fields, the art class has inspired some to pursue an art degree.

Henry Lara is a 26-year-old business major from Lynn who said he’s always been interested in art. But he never considered studying it until taking Chisholm’s basic drawing classes.

Lara said the class, which isn’t a required course, allowed him to relax and brought out his creative side. He said the class convinced him to switch his major to art.

Several students said working on the mural brought the class together.

The mural depicts the scene of Chelsea, Massachusetts morphing into Chelsea, N.Y., a neighborhood on Manhattan’s West Side. The project took students four weeks to complete.

Lara said at first, everyone in the 14-person class kept to themselves. It wasn’t until the class began working on the mural that students started talking to each other.

Antwanette Johnson agreed that the mural project brought the class together. She described the class as “awesome,” and said Chisholm is a passionate and wonderful teacher.

Johnson, who also took basic drawing, said she signed up for the class “for the hell of it,” but grew to love it. While she’s an accounting major, she wishes there were more art classes available at NSCC.

Andrew Gladstone, a liberal arts major from Swampscott, said he’s always been interested in art, and loved the class and working on the mural.

“Everyone was able to put a piece of themselves into the painting,” he said.

Yesterday, the class completed the urban mural project, which will hang in NSCC’s Lynn campus library.

Chisholm, the school’s only fine arts professor, plans to retire in December, but hopes to continue showing students that art can be a great career to pursue.

“I love these kids,” Chisholm said. “I really do.”

Dillon Durst can be reached at [email protected]

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