Fine Arts Expands, Tackles Pressing Issues

  • Adrian de Vernou ’22

As more student exhibitions are being put in place across the campus, the Fine Arts department is becoming increasingly aware of the importance of showcasing the art in a meaningful and impactful way.

One of the largest and most prominent showcasings on campus is currently the tape mural at the entrance of the Campbell building. Fine Arts Instructor Ms. Peggy O’Leary, the teacher who came up with the idea of the mural, decided to implement this new aspect on our campus after “learning about the tape mural technique in a fine arts workshop, and learning that the tape could address social justice issues.” 

With this in mind, the first tape mural was made in homage of the Sangus High School shooting in Santa Clarita last November. Currently. The tape mural is now raising awareness about the fires that have ravaged Australia for over three months now. “When we returned to school after the break and with the Australia fires raging, I felt I could not be detached from the crisis.” This is just one of the ways that art from Fine Art students are showcasing their work. 

In Homer, Main Building, and parts of Campbell, art work is being showcased from the hallways. Ms. O’Leary says, “We like to think of the hallways in all three buildings as spaces where vivid, vibrant art from the drawing and painting classes can be displayed in seasonal rotations.” Fine Art teachers are also working to have more spaces in Campbell to showcase student art. Ms. O’Leary adds, “In the Campbell building, we have room to move. We have room for more rotating student art. We work so that the entire community can see the high quality and expression within all of the student work.” 

Hallways are not the only place where this is possible. In the past, Ms. O’Leary has had to be creative on how to showcase student work. Last year, when Campbell was still under construction, Ms. O’Leary used the wall as a place for graffiti projects that her students partook in. “The construction wall presumed itself with the possibility for numerous graffiti projects.” The objective of these images of graffiti were to raise awareness around endangered animals.

Another kind of art that is being showcased within the department is digital art. This includes art made from filmmaking and photography students. The real challenge here is that some of these projects can only be digital, and cannot be physically exhibited. One of the ways that this challenged is conquered is through the T.Vs, which are placed all around campus. These T.Vs provide a space where student films and photos can be showcased. As Mr. Moshe Quinn puts it, “One of the best ways, as it exists right now, is that with any work that you can photograph or film it be shown on the campus TV screens.” This addition to the school has made it so that many more students’ digital artworks can be showcased all over campus since the T.Vs have been conveniently in popular locations. 

However, even this has down falls. Mr. Quinn states that, “For now we don’t have sound on the TVs because we do not want to distract people while they work.” While the T.Vs are not great at showcasing films, they are amazing at showcasing student photos from the photography class. Photography teacher Mrs. Venessa Woods says that, “Sometimes we put student works up on the screens as a way of showcasing [art].” Another great place to showcase digital art is For through the Quad. Mr. Quinn explains that “there are postings there for video work, art projects, and for the design and images class… I always like making postings on the Quad.” Regarding the use of the Quad, Ms. Woods says, “I think it is a work in progress, but the intention is to put more and more in the Quad… I think that would be a great goal for all of us in the Fine Arts.”

AP Photography students have yet another opportunity to showcase their work in the Spring, where they have an additional assignment before their work gets sent off to the College Board. In the Spring, “we also have an exhibition event at the end of the spring semester that is similar to the Holiday Treat.” Regarding the Spring exhibition, Mrs. Woods says that, “Almost all student work is shown during the exhibition.”

With the Fine Arts department constantly growing and expanding, it is important to shine light upon the student artworks that are made for those classes. Physical and online spaces have allowed SHP to promote an environment where artwork can be exposed and showcased with intention and integrity.

Photo provided by Adrian de Vernou ’22

By Axel de Vernou

Leave a Reply

You May Also Like