By Brooke Burns, Communications Manager, and the Arts + Innovation Team: Joel Jayamohan, Pei Lee, Matthew King, and Cesar Reyes
The middle school Arts + Innovation program comprises the middle school arts classes open to all of our Grade 6, 7, and 8 students. The very idea of Innovation is about putting new ideas into practice. Our program, Art + Innovation, is named to represent how we are constantly evolving, taking what's good from the past and keeping our eyes on the future. One of our goals is to help students explore various art-making materials and mix and match different techniques to create unique and meaningful works of art.
Last week, our MS Art + Innovation Department welcomed parents to campus for an afternoon reception and student-led tours to mark the opinion of the MS Art Fest. This exhibition of student work will run until December 16, with the goal of featuring at least one piece made by every single MS student. We hope you will go and enjoy some of the artwork on display!
Mr. Joel Jayamohan, Chair of the Arts + Innovation program, shared that one thing he enjoys about the program is, “seeing the independent projects that students come up with” because, “it's always exciting to see an idea come to life. Students have consistently impressed me with their quality of skill and imagination."
This year, the Grade 8 students from Pei Lee’s class formed a curation team. “I enjoyed working with my Grade 8 students,” said Ms. Lee, who worked with students John, Annabelle, Will, Lincoln, Matthew, Nathan, Tristin, Lydia, Annie, and Dylan to curate the show. “It was a rewarding experience for them to learn from behind-the-stage preparation and think about the artwork from another angle.”
Some of the artworks curated included ceramics from Matthew King’s ceramics classes. “Having discussions with students about their projects… seeing them problem solve to find creative solutions for their artwork, and getting to share my knowledge and appreciation for the arts is something I truly enjoy about our program.”
For our students, the program represents freedom and creativity. One student in Grade 7, ZhiYi, shared that art allowed them to, "be free. In art, you can be as creative and free as you want.”
Cesar Reyes thinks that the collection of works will surprise and delight its viewers, saying, “People might be surprised to see how engaged middle school students are when they make works that reflect their own world. Their level of skill and thoughtful ideas increases as they mature as artists- it’s exciting to see.” Mr. Reyes also tends the Arts Garden on the first floor, which is endlessly inspiring to students. Conor, one Grade 6 student, was especially impacted by this environment, saying that "nature is the greatest inspiration” in their work.
This exhibition would not have been possible without the work of Ms. Monica Lee, the amazing Art Assistant, who helped with student projects involving 3D printing, laser cutting, and screen printing. Ms. Lee also displayed student work on three floors, ensuring that at least one artwork from every student in middle school art courses was displayed–a challenging task!
The exhibition will be on display until Friday, December 16, and we hope you will visit the lobby and the 4th floor to experience the artwork in person!