Ty and Kelly Manning smile in front of a specially made piece of art just for Kelly.

Ty and Kelly Manning smile in front of a specially made piece of art just for Kelly.

Sabrina Shan and Tobie Denham say cheese in front of some of their work.

Sabrina Shan and Tobie Denham say cheese in front of some of their work.

By Nick Nunn staff writer

Still going strong in its eleventh year, Morgan County’s student-led A Funky Little Art Thing (AFLAT) art show filled the walls of the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center’s Hall for its opening reception last Thursday, Feb. 27.

Marjean Meadow, art teacher at the Morgan County Middle School (MCMS), said that this year’s AFLAT festival was “another successful show,” estimating that attendance for the opening was somewhere between 400 and 700 people. Morgan County High School’s art teacher, Ty Manning, seconded Meadow’s comment saying that “it feels like it’s bigger and bigger every year.”

This year’s AFLAT show was originally scheduled to have its opening on February 13, but the date was pushed back due to the recent severe winter weather and the school system’s winter break.

Nevertheless, Meadow said that the postponements didn’t mitigate the show’s success. “Every year is successful, because no two years have ever been the same,” said Meadow.

“It has grown and evolved as we taught different styles of art, and additional performance groups were available. The only difference was that this show was snowed out and rescheduled.” “[The] thing went off without a hitch, all due to our One Morgan family, great kids, and great teachers,” said Manning about this year’s show. Manning wanted to especially thank his senior art students and his student teacher Chad Dowdell for making sure that the show went according to plan.

Meadow noted that the first AFLAT show was held outside as a street festival in downtown Madison beside the court house and has since become an indoor event hosted by the Cultural Center.

Meadow, but she said that she had picked pieces by more than 150 MCMS students for inclusion in the show this year and that the total pieces of artwork was in the hundreds.

Since its inception, music has been an integral part of the AFLAT experience, and this year was no different. MCHS senior Justin Huff performed at the opening, as did an “acoustic version” on The Man Band, made up of MCHS students Ben Shytle, Dylan Jaynes, and Justin Wren. “All had played AFLAT for the last three years, some four years,” said Manning.

“They are all seniors. [It] would’ve been wrong without them.” Manning, who was returning last week from a recent heart surgery, said that he was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love that he received from the Morgan County School System’s art community at the AFLAT festival. “I was blown away with all the love!” said Manning.

“Morgan County is a great place, especially during the week of our funky little art thing!”