2023 Senior Art Exhibition Provides a Place for Art Students to Express Themselves
This year the eighth annual senior art exhibition featured the best works of U-High’s Class of 2023 in the Gordon Parks Arts Hall (GPAH) Corvus Gallery. This year the exhibition ran from April 7–May 12 and consisted of thirty-six pieces from fourteen U-High seniors, according to Gina Alicea, gallery director since GPAH’s opening in 2015.
Graham Robbins, a senior and this year’s curator, says the art show has never had a specific theme in mind. “It really depends on the tendency of that class to have a specific style. We had a lot more things that were more digitized, lots of paintings, self portraits, environmental portraits, photography, and not as much 3D things,” Robbins says.
Alicea says, "The senior art exhibition is a way for seniors to not only showcase their best work, but to have a venue to express themselves in art."
In late February and early March, posters with a QR code were affixed on the walls and pillars of GPAH and the Historic Campus calling for submissions for senior artwork. The call for submissions was also posted on Schoology, U-High's bulletin, and mentioned in class by the arts faculty and senior advisors, Robbins, who was Alicea's art intern this school year, says.
This year, there were a total of forty-seven artworks submitted by students—some submitted multiple pieces—in a one-month period. It took about two weeks to review submissions asRobbins wanted to “make sure everyone was represented in a balanced way."
After reviewing, it took another two weeks after spring break to hang pieces on the walls. It's kind of like putting together a puzzle in a way,” Robbins says, who was recommended for the gallery internship by U-High’s visual art teacher Brian Wildeman.
"Graham helped me curate the art in the High School Office suite, at the ArtsFest booth at the annual Holiday Bazaar, and at LabArts last year. With his interest in curating and his influence as Student Council vice president, he seemed to be a perfect fit for the gallery internship," Wildeman says.
The gallery internship is a one-year independent study program where a high school student learns about organizing, curating, and installing an exhibition,” Alicea says. “Graham did a great job in thinking about where each artwork should be placed on the wall. I'm proud of his dedication to being this year's senior art exhibition curator.
Robbins, who has been a Lab student for the past six years, recommends students to immerse themselves in art to explore their identity, interest, and express their opinions. "If you really spend time with some of the pieces [in the exhibition]. I think you can see how the views of each artist are reflected in it," Robbins says.
Dalin Dohrn has four pieces in the exhibition–two are ceramic. "I really want people to enjoy what I make; I want it to be funny. I love adapting ideas across mediums or tones, and approaching art as an act of translation," says Dohrn, who will be attending the Parsons School of Design in New York in the fall and plans to major in illustration.
Zara Baig has three pieces in the exhibition. “I’ve worked on art for a really big part of my life, and so I think having come to this point… is something that I’m really proud of. And I feel really happy that I'm able to kind of put it on display," Baig told U-High Midway on April 26.
Robbins hopes to continue to curate galleries in the future.
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