The Art Gallery’s Triumphant Return
By Lyla Cheary
This year's art gallery was held on Tuesday, January 24, celebrating the 20th year anniversary. This show is particularly special because it is the first show in almost three years, the last one in January 2020.
During the covid-19 lockdown, Leigh, the digital art teacher, and Desiree, the visual art teacher, relied mostly on ArtSonia to display and celebrate the students' work. Given that Art Sonia's website is open all year round to display the artwork, the school decided it was fit to find something even more special to celebrate the up-and-coming artists. Eventually, it was decided that all the different advisories would show a presentation displaying all the different types of artwork. Leigh and Desiree decided to collaborate with the theatre department on a zoom showcase to perform and display both the theatre production and the art show at once.
Both in and out of covid, much effort was put into the showcase. The gallery show is produced to celebrate all the young artists and the artwork they created. It's important to share the work with people who normally don't get to see it and to make sure the student artists can see and appreciate their peer's work across all grade levels.
Digital art teacher Leigh Klonsky explained her goals for the show. "I hope that students feel a sense of pride in what they make I hope that students feel inspired by other people's artwork. I hope that the staff and families also are inspired when they come and see the work."
Students in both visual arts and digital art have put so much creativity, time, and effort into the projects they chose to display. Students have spent most of the semester creating various types of artwork with the support of their teachers. Their talents have been pushed and have certainly grown since the start of the year, making it almost certain Leigh's hopes for the showcase came true.
Although there is much to be excited about, there is a lot of art to fit in the showcase room, making there a concern that two hundred and fifty pieces of art won't fit or look good on the walls. However, with an optimistic outlook, Leigh is confident she, Desiree, and a small team of high school volunteers will make the "puzzle" of artwork look amazing and scattered across the room's walls. Leigh noted that it is a fun "Group effort" that she loves to partake in every year.
The creation of art is also, in a sense, a group effort. Students get to pick, with the help of their peers, what artwork they would like to display. Therefore, the show is very much about student voices and what they want to express and will end up looking like a "carnival of amazing-ness"
But how will other student viewers participate in this carnival? Leigh says that apart from viewing the art show, "They'll participate by giving feedback and writing critique, like writing peer feedback on work, and they'll participate by volunteering. Additionally, Leigh hopes that in the future art galleries, students in the national art honors society and students who are building a collage portfolio can formally present their work. Furthermore, visitors have a different role in the art gallery system. As Leigh puts it, she hopes visitors can "really just look" and appreciate the art. She says that in the modern world, images move so quickly, particularly on social media. This does not give us an opportunity to truly look at and absorb the meaning, intent, and messages of art. She wants this gallery to provide a space for visitors to slow down and admire the hard work. She says that putting artwork on a wall and framing it in glass is something really special and that young artists deserve that respect.
Here is a warm congratulations to all the artists who displayed their work this year.