A picture may be worth a thousand words, but Harker’s top artistic talent went the extra mile, by showcasing written statements alongside original artwork at the recent AP Studio Art Exhibition.
Featuring unique works in various media, the exhibition was held during a long lunch in the light-filled Nichols Hall atrium. The professionally-styled show was open to both students and faculty who strolled the hall admiring projects ranging from photography to sculptures and drawings.
AP Studio Art is a high-level class for talented artists, mostly seniors, interested in both 3-D art, taught by Jaap Bongers, and 2-D art, taught by Pilar Aguero-Esparza.
Commenting on the work of his student’s, Bongers, who is also chair of the art department, said he had been fortunate to follow many of the exhibitors’ evolving styles over the course of several years, having had them in various previous art courses.
Many of the students at the annual show were not artists themselves. However, after attending, they said they had a new appreciation for the artistic friends they’d come out to support.
“Some of my friends do art; I’ll probably take it next year,” said Eric Swenson, grade 11, who especially enjoyed reading the artists’ personal statements and seeing what inspired them.
Each of the student artists chose a theme that recurred throughout their works and wrote statements explaining their inspiration for the exhibition. These artist statements were prominently displayed next to their pieces.
In her statement about her cat sketches, artist Iris Xia, grade 11, wrote that her concentration involved the objectification of feelings. By illustrating cats placed into typical household tools and later luxury items, she said she sought to demonstrate how degrading people could be when they exploit innocent animals for their own benefit.
Meanwhile, senior Karen Wang’s whimsical, colorful paintings focused on the idea of freedom and escape. “What is freedom and how do I communicate my perception of it?” she questioned in her artist statement.
One thing that all of the exhibiting artists seemed to agree on was the joy they personally took in having the freedom to create their own themes, rather than following a more standard project based on a class assignment.
Explaining that process, exhibiting artist Tariq Jahshan, grade 12, stood in front of his 3-D sculpture display, and allowed that most of his ideas start out as a very basic abstract form. Then he “just kind of goes with it” until it becomes more conscious. “At that point, what’s going to come out takes over and I’ll then follow that.”
Jahshan’s work, and all the exhibiting artists’ pieces, will continue to be on display in Nichols Hall for Harker students, parents and faculty alike to enjoy until March 23.