Video by Renata Williams
With the help of their own creativity, students will transform the traditional hallways of RBHS into an underwater art show.
From 3-5 p.m. on Sunday, April 27, RBHS is hosting, ‘Depth,’ an art show where students taking art classes at RBHS will present their work to their peers and the community through an experience of a theme beneath the sea.
Art instructor Abbey Trescott, the founder of the first RBHS art show, said she always encourages her students to submit their artwork to shows in the community, including the Columbia Art League, PS Gallery and shows at Columbia College. However, the work created by her art students inspired Trescott to initiate a student art gallery to showcase all their talent.
“This show is primarily for intermediate and advanced students, focusing more on the advanced art students,” Trescott said. “But part of the reasoning for the show is that specifically the AP 2 students–they’ve worked in the AP program for two years and have developed about 24 pieces, and rarely does anyone get to see them. So we wanted this opportunity for those students to really show off the amazing work they’ve been doing the last two years.”
The motivation behind this art show started with AP 2 students in mind, but Trescott extended the entries to other students, including AP 1 students, Advanced Photography and 3D students and some Intermediate Art students. This extension proved beneficial, as senior Campbell Thompson, who is an AP 1 art student, plans to participate due to the simplicity and ease of submitting her artwork at the school gallery rather than a professional show.
“I’m entering three pieces in the art show because I haven’t been in any other art show, and this one is being run by our teachers, which made the process of entering much easier,” Thompson said. “I hope and think it will be a success since all our preparations seem to be coming together really nicely. I feel like these shows are a good way to get kids to start doing art shows in a way that makes it easy and less stressful.”
Aside from simply being able to show off their work, Trescott said by allowing students to make decisions that artists make when entering artwork into gallery spaces provides a glimpse into the real world of art and art production. Letting students take charge, organize and plan a show as well as feel pride in their accomplishments is a driving force behind the event, Trescott said.
“There is something interesting that happens to artwork when it is removed from the classroom, put in a frame and hung in a gallery-type setting. It really elevates the work, and makes it feel much more sophisticated, and I think it validates the work that students do in the classroom,” Trescott said. “It also gives us a chance for faculty, friends, and family to see what we’re doing here. You know, we’re tucked away in our little corner back here, and often times people aren’t able to see the amazing things being created in this wing of the school. “
Allowing viewers to appreciate the creative effort students put into their art is a source of pride, and encouragement for senior Sam Ding, an AP 2 art student. She said she is entering seven of her pieces in the art show for the same reason she enjoys entering professional shows: for the enjoyment and appreciation of the viewing community.
“I’ve entered several professional shows in the past, and they’ve always been fun to attend and make me proud to showcase my work,” Ding said. “When Trescott announced she was planning to host a Rock Bridge art show, I knew I was going to enter. A lot my friends know I do art, and they’ve seen some of it, but it’s nice to have an event where they can see all the hard work I, and the other students, have done throughout the year.”
Though Ding is aware that this is the first year RBHS is attempting to host a student art show, she believes the event will be a success because of the art department’s hard work and the immense talent of its students. Ding has witnessed firsthand the ideas Trescott is planning for the show, and is assured attendees will thoroughly enjoy the experience. However, Ding hopes the artwork will provide not only enjoyment but also inspiration for observers.
“Showcasing the art students’ work will show everyone attending the merits of an art education and the benefits of a great art department at our school. A high school show opens the range of people who will attend,” Ding said. “It can inspire younger students in the community to pursue art as a hobby or a career. It’s a great way for art students to be recognized for their hard work and talent.”
But in order for the full effect of the show to be appreciated, Thompson explains that people around the community and individuals at RBHS need to be motivated to attend the art show. Thompson believes that not enough are aware of the quality of the student artwork at RBHS, and would enjoy discovering all the hidden talents. Like Thompson, Ding explains that this event will be a true success with both the artwork and viewers present on April 27.
“I think everyone should come to the art show because it’s going to be great,” Ding said. “I’m sure everyone has at least one friend who is in art, and coming to the show is a great way to support them. There will be so much amazing art, and the school is going to be stunned at the sheer talent of its students.”
By Manal Salim