Featured artwork

Hallway displays allows artists chance to shine



CREATE: Mrs.Sprick helps a student during her first hour ceramic class.

Robyn Ziegemeier, Staff reporter

It was just another day when senior Olivia Convery spotted a painting she had made hanging above the lockers. It features a bird, a turtle, and a squirrel on a purple background. She didn’t know that hers would be displayed, as her art teacher said only a few of them would be going up.  

Her piece was just a workshop she did before their upcoming project. Workshops are the first two weeks of an assigned theme and method of media that are used to hone the skills needed to complete the final project. The prompt was to do a collage and she opted to paint a nature themed piece.

“I thought that was pretty cool. I never, until this year, had anything up on the wall, so I was pretty excited,” Convery said.

Anybody that walks through the upstairs hallway can look up and see the artwork made by fellow students brightening up the hallway, but the process deciding which pieces go up is more or less unknown to the majority of students, including those who have their work up. The flatworks often hang above their respective class area, as well as anywhere there is room for them.

The art teachers all have different methods to showcasing their students’ artwork. Mrs. Judy Switzer says that she displays students’ art mainly for their improvement over time, among other things.

“Sometimes I look for what I consider aesthetically to be the best piece, but mostly what I’m looking for is growth. So if I have a student who started out even at a very low level, and they’ve increased their skills, I’m going to really want to make sure that I put it in the hallway because it encourages them to continue,” Mrs. Switzer said.

Mrs. Elizabeth Sprick has her TAs put up the work.

“The TAs do a great job. I tell them just to split it up and for one week, a whole bunch, however many will fit will go up and then the next week they’ll rotate kind of through them because I wish we had more room to hang them everywhere, but eventually they all go up.”

Mrs. Sprick, as well as the other art teachers, makes sure that all of her students get showcased at some point, whether by rotating the pieces or having different students’ work up to display different skills they excel at. Mr. Jeremy Winingham also does his best to make sure all of his students have a chance to get their artwork in the hallway.

“I try to get everybody, if I notice maybe the same students constantly are getting their work displayed, I may choose another student other that [one] student, because I want to give as many students exposure as possible,” Mr. Winningham said.

As for why the art teachers put up their students’ work, they all have differing philosophies, but ultimately want to give their students the recognition they deserve. Mrs. Sprick displays her students’ work because she believes the school needs to showcase students’ individuality.

“My students all interpret the idea that we’re working on differently, so I think it’s really needed for the school to see how everyone can interpret one idea differently,” she said. “We all work within one big idea, but everyone’s piece ends up looking differently because there’s different interpretations,” Mrs. Sprick said.

Mrs. Switzer hangs up her students’ artwork because she wants everybody to be able to participate in art in some way.

“It’s important for me and my students to advocate for the arts, and the best way to do that is to get everybody involved. Even if their involvement is being the lookers,” Mrs. Switzer said.

The art that goes up isn’t always big projects. Convery’s piece that went up was a workshop. All of the art classes have four main ideas per semester. Each main idea takes four weeks, with the first two weeks being about three workshops. There are typically twelve works assigned every semester, meaning every student taking an art classes has twelve chances to get showcased per semester.

Flatworks, such as paintings and drawings, aren’t the only types of art being placed in the hallway. Ceramic pieces also get displayed in the cabinets by the stairs closest to the library. The ceramic works also get rotated through and have twelve assignments every semester.

After learning the skills they need for their piece, students in art classes get to express themselves freely as long as they follow their prompt. For example, senior Madyson Arnel always puts a lot of thought into her pieces.

“I think I usually try and have a lot of thought behind my art,” she said. “Usually that conveys a deeper meaning that’s not usually apparent to the current eye, and then after that I sort of just put the piece to life,” Arnel said.

When she first found out that something she had made was on display, she was really pumped after seeing it.

“I was really excited, like especially when I do a piece that’s like really good and I’m really proud of it. I like pointing it out to my friends,” Arnel said.

Convery and Arnel both reported that certain teachers would tell them when their art was being displayed, while others would let their students discover their art being displayed. Mrs. Sprick is one of the teachers that lets her students find out their art is displayed on their own.

“I like seeing them notice when their work is up, and, like I said, it’s mostly up to TAs hanging the artwork up, so I mostly just enjoy when the students realize that their work is hanging out in the hallway,” Mrs. Sprick said.