Campus Celebrates Youth Art Month

Amanda Mier, Features Editor

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“Sunset at Montegabbione,” acrylic and charcoal on canvas, courtesy of Max Frankel (’17)

To innovate upon a well-worn cliché, Youth Art Month at Maggie Walker began with a bang…and likely more than a few splatters of paint and smears of charcoal.

Youth Art Month, lasting throughout the month of March, is a culmination of the artistic talents and efforts by both the students and art department faculty at Maggie Walker. This period of promotion for the arts, first implemented in the United States in 1961, reflects the growing interest and skills within the Maggie Walker community. Throughout March, the NAHS/Art Club has been hosting weekly workshops, giving a range of tutorials, including screen-printing, tape casting, and paper marbling. There have also been efforts by the Art Club to revamp the resources for the art department. Said Matt Ladosci (’16), an Art V senior, “The clean up crew works to keep the room clean and organized. We were responsible for the big closet clean up that went on a few weeks ago where we cleaned out and reorganized […] the art room.” Erin Paasch (’16) agreed, explaining That “A lot of preparation has gone into the events of youth art month. All of the NAHS members have pitched in in different ways, everything from hanging artwork to bringing refreshments to teaching workshops, and it has very much paid off!”

The zenith of these efforts was the Youth Art Month (YAM) Student Art Exhibition, held Thursday, March 10, 2016. This show displayed at least one work from students in all art and photography classes, although depending on the class certain students submitted multiple works or, in the case of the commercial photo classes, entire portfolios. This opening presented the vast range of artistic interests among the student body: figurative, landscapes, abstract expressionism, portraiture, process, sculpture, the list goes on and on. According to Ladosci, “The art department has been really focused on showcasing students’ artwork and giving them the experience of presenting their work in an art show. I think that’s probably the biggest benefit of YAM in a lot of ways.”

In such a prestigious school so focused on government, I could see how it would be easy to overlook art classes in favor of APs and dual enrollments, but I think that because such a large portion of our school is so passionate about the arts as a whole, that they have really embraced it and are accomplishing great things!”

— Hannah Tuten ('17)

Overall, the student reaction was remarkably positive. Many of the artists themselves were pleased with the reception their work. Erin Paasch (’16) stated that she “received a lot of good feedback about the pieces [she] submitted. [Her] exploration of natural materials connected with quite a few people and their positive thoughts were great to hear.”

Sabrina Sampson (’17) concurred, explaining that her “painting was well-received because it was colorful and realistic, which made it easy to approach and like.” The artists were especially pleased with the opportunity to present their own distinct styles. Hannah Tuten (’17), a photography student, said that the pieces she submitted were “definitely representative of my style, if only because layering and multiple exposures is my favorite kind of photography!”

The efforts made by students and faculty are illustrative of the appreciation the school harbors towards the arts. Although Maggie Walker nominally has a focus on government and international studies, creativity thrives in the school’s atmosphere. Tuten emphatically demonstrated this point, declaring that “Our school appreciates the arts! In such a prestigious school so focused on government, I could see how it would be easy to overlook art classes in favor of APs and dual enrollments, but I think that because such a large portion of our school is so passionate about the arts as a whole, that they have really embraced it and are accomplishing great things!”

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