From the South Orange Maplewood School District Fine Arts Supervisor:
Columbia High School students taking AP 2-D Design and Drawing held an art exhibit, which began March 24 and will end April 22. The art exhibition is held at the Domareki Gallery, and teacher Kirk Maynard described it as the perfect opportunity for students to show off what they’ve been working on in class.
“This AP 2-D Design and Drawing exhibit is a showcase of the work students have created within my class as part of their technical development and conceptual development as artists,” he said. . “It was entirely curated and developed by my class, and it was great to see how the students were able to bring their ideas to life in fully realized pieces that deal with topics ranging from personality and social justice to emotions. .”
The students also enjoyed the experience.
“One of the things that I love about being an artist in general is that people appreciate my works. It’s the first time that I’ve been able to do things and they’re not not just for me and for my family,” Veronica Smith-Cooper said. “For me, the exhibition is a really great opportunity to present my works to anyone, and I really like that it’s at other students so my peers can look around and see what their classmates are creating.”
Smith-Cooper said his project was about expressing different kinds of freedom.
“For me, in my sustained inquiry, all of my artwork is really grounded in my own dream worlds and brings them to the surface,” she said. “All of my artwork is about freedom: in the form of free people in beautiful landscapes that you can’t have in real life, but that I can create on canvas. As for my sustained investigation, although it relates to Adam and Eve, it is still in a utopian landscape that I have created.
Another student, Alexandra Kerstan, said her project was to “show different mental states and emotions through dreams”, as well as other states of consciousness.
“It’s a rollercoaster of emotions, all in our subconscious, and we often don’t have the words to talk about it,” she said.
The exhibition is also an opportunity for students to express themselves through their work.
“For me, this exhibition is a chance to be vulnerable as a teenager and authentic as an artist. I don’t get many opportunities to share my art with my classmates so publicly, and in some ways I find this level of openness disturbing and frightening,” said Silas Silverman-Stoloff. “I’m grateful for this exposure because it pushes me to be honest with myself as well as my peers, and I’ve found the process very rewarding so far.”