We would like to thank everyone who attended this year’s Evening of the Arts event. As you may know, we had two special guests at this year’s event: Mr. Ronald Netsky, parent of three AC alums and Chair of the Art Department and Professor of Art at Nazareth College, and Ms. Sydney Greaves, the Estelle B. Goldman Assistant Curator of Education at the Memorial Art Gallery. Both graciously agreed to be guest bloggers for our twelfth annual Evening of the Arts.
You can read Mr. Netsky’s blog post about this year’s exhibition by clicking here. Please read on for perspectives from Ms. Greaves:
I was pleased at the invitation to attend Allendale Columbia School’s annual Evening of the Arts exhibition on March 27th. We at the Memorial Art Gallery work often with Ms. Oliveri, Mrs. Gregor, and Ms. Wun, and are very aware of the quality arts programs available to AC students.
Speaking to the students and their families: I hope you all are fully aware of just how lucky you are; you are given such a rich variety of materials and experiences, exposure to artists and their working methods, and encouragement to explore and experiment. This is what really stood out to me as I strolled the AC “galleries” that night. So many of the student artworks demonstrate a real willingness to take a chance and try something new and risky.
For example, the Grade 5 blind contour drawings; having been an art student myself for many years, I know how scary the process of drawing can be, at any age. And a blind contour, a single line drawn without looking? Talk about taking risks! But these drawings were so bold and fearless, made more so by displaying the original drawing next to the finished work. It takes courage to show unfinished or in-process work, sometimes more than the finished piece!
I saw this same risk-taking and courage in many artworks on display, including the Grade 7 scientific illustrations of protists, the Pre K paper sculptures a la Chihuly glass confections, the Grade 6 digital panoramic photographs morphed into “tiny planets,” and the Grade 1 silly mugs (we all know how unpredictable and stubborn clay can be!). And Kindergartners re-enacting Pollack with squeezy bottles of paint, clear plexi sheets, and video cameras? This kind of bold experimentation with using materials and making connections to the world leads to the broad, out-of-the-box thinking required to succeed in many aspects of later life. I believe the seemingly simple photography project taken on by the HS group shows this kind of creative thinking. These students found stunningly unique ways to illustrate or demonstrate the basic elements of art — Point of View, Texture, Proportion, Symmetry, Line, Color, and Shape — that I never would have imagined.
Although I am more of a specialist in visual arts, I cannot ignore the amazing musical performances that I could hear and enjoy from almost everywhere in the building. That takes courage too, to stand up in front of people and demonstrate an ability, whether newly learned or the product of years of practice and learning.
I came away from this show feeling greatly inspired and optimistic about the real difference that arts can make in the world. They teach persistence and patience, they inspire and incite emotions, they encourage novelty and invention, and they give all of us a new and different way of seeing and experiencing the world. Congratulations to all the AC students, thank you for sharing your visions and talents, and look forward to seeing you at the Memorial Art Gallery.
Posted in: Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Kindergarten, Lower School, Middle School, Ninth Grade, Nursery, Pre-Primary School, PreKindergarten, Second Grade, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Tenth Grade, Third Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School