ArtsFeb 10, 2022
— updated Mar 17, 2022
Showcasing Student Art
Indy Art Show Spotlights Depth & Breadth of Student Work
Eleven artists, eleven installations, and an amazing array of work highlighted the Independent Projects in Art Group Show recently on view in the Elizabeth Gatchell Klein Arts Center.
Featuring ceramics, digital animation, drawing, painting, photography, textiles, video, and more, the show spotlighted powerful work from throughout the first semester by students in the advanced art elective.
Among the artists was Kathryn Barrett ’22, whose “Math Class Doodles” featured 17 impressive ceramic pieces, selected from some 80 pieces she worked on so far this year. “It’s hard to pick a favorite one,” notes Kathryn, who took up ceramics upon entering MHS in ninth grade. “I like all of them for different reasons. Each piece is different, and each piece can teach me something new.”
It has been a particularly prolific stretch for Kathryn, who notes that she struggled initially with ceramics, but the practice began to click for as a sophomore. Then came the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I really started developing more of a passion for it last year,” explains Kathryn, who was encouraged by Ceramics Instructor G. Grosenbeck to return to the studio. At the time, many students, herself included, found themselves spending a lot of time alone in their bedrooms. “For ten weeks in the spring, the studio became my refuge,” adds Kathryn, who also enjoys the outlet the creative process provides.
æEach part of the process yields a different enjoyment," she notes. “When I’m throwing, I’ll say I’m going to go to the studio for an hour, but once I start working, all of a sudden, I’ve been there for three hours. It’s also a place where it’s just me and my hands. I like using my mind, but I also like using my hands, and I am constantly pushing myself to grow. I can always make a bigger piece or try something new, and there is always something different I can do to challenge myself.”
Thi Nguyen ’22 was inspired to create her installation “Tet,” by the Lunar New Year festival in Vietnam. She made digital paintings of her mother, father, and sister, hanging the portraits on the wall behind a table decorated in the holiday tradition. The table included coins and paper replicas of traditional Vietnamese dishes Banh Chung and Banh Day, which are types of sticky rice cakes. Her installation also included plenty of green, yellow, and red, colors used to decorate during the holiday.
“When I was working on the project, it was close to the Lunar New Year, and it was something to remind me of home,” says Thi. “It was also something to make Miss Hall’s feel more like my home, because it’s my senior year and my last year here.”
Thi has been taking art classes at MHS since sophomore year. She took an interest in digital painting — her favorite medium — after working on a project last year in which the participants, separated because of COVID, did most of their work digitally.
“The most enjoyable part of this project was making the paper cakes and decorations,” she says. “It took a while, so my friends helped me, and we had a great time making them together. We all live in different cities in Vietnam, and we couldn’t go home for the holiday, so we talked about how we each celebrated with our families, and that made the work quite memorable.”
Independent Projects in Art Show
Eleven artists, eleven installations, and an amazing array of work highlighted the Independent Projects in Art Group Show recently on view in the Elizabeth Gatchell Klein Arts Center. Featuring ceramics, digital animation, drawing, painting, photography, textiles, video, and more, the show spotlighted powerful work from throughout the first semester by students in the advanced art elective.
Independent Projects in Art is an upper-level elective designed for students who are ready to work in a more autonomous manner as artists. Students are encouraged to follow emergent ideas and expected to present a cohesive body of work at the end of each semester. In addition to weekly critiques of their work, each student also convenes a “review board,” a team of people from whom they would like artistic advice.
Great job, everyone!