“Artsy Summer” showcases students creativity

Neeva Patel, Staff Writer

A splatter-painted basketball, a watercolor butterfly, and a ceramic fish head are just a few of the art pieces you can find in the Fisher Hall gallery’s first show of the year: “Artsy Summer.” The show features different mediums, including photos, sculptures, drawings, paintings, digital art, and ceramic figures, all created over the summer by Upper and Middle Division students. The gallery show is on view from September 14 through 30.

Studio Arts Manager Emily Lombardo and members of the art department have been planning for the gallery show since the end of last school year. “The faculty all met together, and we decided to make this gallery show seem like a calming place to come to during the hectic first few weeks of school,” Lombardo said. “The pieces are done by students from completely different skill levels, and for the first show of the year, we wanted to display a diverse array of mediums and artistic styles.”

To curate the show, Lombardo emailed all students towards the end of the summer and connected with visual arts and photography teachers to recruit students for art submissions. Interested students then dropped off their pieces at school on September 9 and 10, and filled out a Google form with their names and grades. Lombardo planned out where each art piece would go on the walls of the gallery. “I figured out how to fill the space on our walls by starting in the middle and branching out from there,” they said.

In the middle of the gallery, Lombardo chose to place an extremely detailed oil painting of an Indian farmer. Raghav Poddar (10), who created this piece, was inspired by the farmer’s eyes and his proud bearing. “The eyes are so direct and eloquent that they seem to tell the story of a lifetime of hard work, honesty, and integrity,” he said. Poddar chose to use oil paint to create the piece because of the medium’s richness and its range of tonal transitions and shades. “I decided to share this artwork with our school because I want viewers to understand how hard these Indian farmers work, he said.” Poddar hopes that viewers can recognize this message in his art and spread it along.

Another of Poddar’s paintings on display depicts the head of a Greek statue called “Laocoön and His Sons.” Poddar created this painting as he was interested in Greek art and took inspiration from the drama evident in Laocoön’s expression. “I decided to submit this piece to the gallery because I wanted to show that you don’t need to focus on the whole sculpture to deliver its emotion; you can zero in on one aspect, in this case, the head, to convey a message,” he said.

Besides paintings, sculptures and photography are also featured across the room. On the gallery’s center floor lies a sculpture created by Oscar Shah (10). It depicts a clay head with hair made of wooden sticks on a bent wire body.

When Sophie Pietrzak (10) visited the gallery, she immediately noticed Shah’s piece. “This sculpture was so interesting to look at, and I liked how the artist used many different types of materials to create it, instead of just one,” she said. Pietrzak enjoyed how she was able to examine the piece from all different angles— something she could not do with a two-dimensional art piece.

Across the floor from these sculptures, viewers can examine an array of photographs depicting quintessential New York scenes taken by Julian Silverman (12). Over the summer, Silverman explored his surroundings and took photos to capture the energy of the city. “I was especially inspired by vintage New York — specifically the 1970s and 80s — so I tried to find scenes around the city that reminded me of this era”, he said.

Silverman decided to share his work with the school, as he takes pleasure in knowing that others can appreciate the art that he put effort into creating. “The reality is that an image can tell so many different stories,” he said. “I just hope the viewer feels something special when they view an image of mine.”

Next to one of Silverman’s photographs hangs a digital art drawing of a human-turtle hybrid by Christian Conner (9). He has been creating art all summer, experimenting with light study and drawing anatomy. “It was very fun to take a creative concept and try to apply it to my own art style,” he said.

Conner’s painting features detailed body parts, and each hair was created using single pen strokes. “I wanted to make the creature in my drawing seem like it is actually in motion, so drawing digitally was the best option,” he said. Conner hopes viewers get a sense of exploration and a wish to discover the unknown.

Lombardo hopes that this gallery showcases students’ hard work outside of school. “I want people to understand that art is a way for people to be creative during their free time,” they said. “Without specific deadlines or assignments, students were able to create what they wanted to, and that is something really valuable that came out of this show.”