Harker’s Middle School Spring Art Exhibit went on display in the upper school’s main lobby gallery after an opening reception on April 3. The show, which will run until April 23, also spilled over to the Nichols Hall atrium.
Sponsored by Harker’s middle school visual arts program, the exhibit features select works from the 2013-14 school year, including colorful paintings, sketches, ceramics, figurines and wire sculptures.
This year’s exhibit included an impressive array of ceramics, such as tea pots, plates, boxes and figurines. Students in grades 7-8 showcased clay and glass works called “African Granary Doors.” Whimsical wire sculpture figures with accessories such as umbrellas, golf sticks and building blocks also filled the shelves. Grade 6 ceramics students displayed work done during the fall semester titled “Art Shoes,” which took the form of dinosaurs, rabbits, dragons and more. And, adorning the walls, were drawings of bikes, colorful landscapes, and assorted fruits and vegetables.
Encased in a glass display were several sculptures that won regional Scholastic Art Awards earlier this year. Eight Harker middle school students won the prestigious awards for their outstanding artwork. Two received the coveted gold and silver key awards, while six others were lauded with honorable mentions. All of the winners’ work was featured in the exhibit. (To read another HNO story about the art award winners: http://skylark.harker.org/hno/backups/eight-middle-school-students-win-scholastic-art-awards/).
Meanwhile, a series of drawings called “Renaissance Self-Portraits” was on display in Nichols Hall. For this project, second-year middle school art students were asked to do a self-portrait of what they will look like at age 50, and at the same time put themselves in the time of the renaissance. To accomplish this feat, they studied Rembrandt’s self-portraits and followed that period and style as closely as possible.
“Scrolling through photos of Renaissance poses and portraits, I found a picture of a man with flowing, curly hair very interesting. Incorporating my cheerful countenance into the body of a royal ancient figure was extremely difficult, but weeks of sketching self-portraits eventually paid off to help accomplish this piece,” recalled art student Darren Gu, grade 8.
Classmate Kaitlin Hsu, also grade 8, said that for her Renaissance portrait she chose to draw herself as a young maiden who “probably lived the life of a servant.” Drawing this portrait, she noted, was fun and interesting since the clothing, accessories, and style at the time were very unique and distinct. “Using various materials to finish this portrait was fun,” she added.
Also in the atrium were drawings from first-year art students, including illustrations of Audubon birds and sketches of rocking chairs. The drawings were done in the Italian artistic style of chiaroscuro, which utilizes strong contrasts between light and dark (similar effects in cinema and photography also are called chiaroscuro).
The middle school art show is unique in that it hosts its opening reception at the upper school. After the exhibit’s run there, it will be relocated to the middle school multipurpose room where it will join the middle school’s end-of-the-year exhibit.
Each spring, each of Harker’s campuses hold art shows, giving students age-appropriate venues in which to display the special works they have completed throughout the year.