Club Spotlight on NAHS (National Art Honors Society)

Lily Kamrath, Deputy Editor, Arts & Entertainment

Tucked away in the upper-level art wing of our school is the National Art Honor Society (NAHS). A hidden gem in the sprawling list of MHS clubs and activities, NAHS is spearheaded by co-presidents Nessa Reisinger, ‘22, and Reese Dawson, ‘23 and is supervised by MHS art teacher Meg Koenitzer.

Reisinger joined the club during the pandemic.

 “I was really desperate to do something last year during COVID. [Art and service were] two things I was super interested in, so it was perfect,” she said.

Dawson joined the club as a freshman after discovering it at the bi-annual Activities Fair. This is her third year participating in NAHS and her first year as a leader. In addition to leading the NAHS, she also runs her own Instagram art account,

Minnetonka’s NAHS division impacts both the immediate community and people across the world. Unlike other art clubs at MHS, the NAHS is founded on the intersection of art and community service. 

“[It is] an art-based volunteer club,” said Dawson.

Recently, the NAHS took on a huge, three-panel painted mural to be displayed at MME.

 “It’s been years in the making…every year we add a little more to it,” said Reisinger. “I hope we finish it this year.” 

The mural is for Water Walk, an organization that raises funds and awareness for the global water crisis. 

Artful Bowls is another NAHS tradition. NAHS students create pottery bowls to be sold at the annual Empty Bowls event. The funds the club raises go toward the ICA food shelf. 

Finally, the Memory Project is a unique initiative where NAHS members receive the name, age, favorite color, and photograph of a child in a struggling country. Students create a realistic portrait of their assigned child in the art medium of their choice.

“I spent hours in my room just shading, but it didn’t feel like work since I knew this 8.5×11 sheet of paper would travel across the world to a 14-year-old girl,” Reiseinger said.

Through the NAHS, students have the opportunity to earn volunteer service hours in a creative and enjoyable way. Current MHS seniors are eligible for a graduation cord if they log 25+ service hours with the club during the school year. Time spent working on individual NAHS-related projects, at club meetings and partaking in NAHS activities all count towards this total.

“Compared to other stressful, high-intensity things [I’ve] been a part of, [NAHS] is so relaxing and comforting,” said Reisinger. “I was new to this club, so I had no clue who anybody was, but everyone was so chill and welcoming. It was such a good time”.

Though the title of “Honor Society” may sound intimidating, the NAHS is very inclusive. 

“You don’t have to be good at art. You just have to enjoy it,” said Reisinger. 

“Just show up,” agreed Dawson.

“[The NAHS] meets twice a week to keep each other updated on project progress, but aside from the big collaborative projects, participation in the club is done mostly on one’s own time,” said Dawson.

If MHS students are interested in learning more about the NAHS, check out their Instagram account @mtka.nahs. The link to their GroupMe is in their Instagram bio, which contains club updates, meeting information, and details about upcoming projects. The club’s Direct Messages are also always open for questions or to indicate interest in joining.