Annual Senior Art Show in the virtual space
February 18, 2021
Year after year, the annual senior art show goes into full swing at Richard Montgomery High School. Flats filled with student art line the halls and Main Street bursts with color. This year, however, things are going to be different for obvious reasons.
The show will be held on Zoom on March 12 with students creating a page with artwork formatted in any way they’d like. Additionally, the chief curator Simon Braunstein designed a Google Slides for all the student artists to create their pages. “Our theme this year [is] Oh The Places You’ll Go, so each student will pick a place they want to be right now and decorate the page as such,” senior Isabel Barker said.
Barker, Braunstein and three other seniors — Mary Ma, Min Mon and Heather Pubill — are the curators for the show. “[They] are spearheading all these tasks and making my job pretty easy,” RMHS art teacher and show overseer Kelly Posey said. “They are extremely creative and resourceful students who I have the ultimate privilege of working with.” For the past couple of months, the curators have had to prepare for the upcoming show by doing things such as meeting on Zoom to discuss the show and publicizing the details for RMBC.
Along with changing the format of the show, having a virtual event has had an impact on the people behind the show, too. “I feel sad that we are not doing it the way we had traditionally done it in the past, because there is a certain excitement in … preparing for the reception of the opening night of the event,” Ms. Posey said. “But if … the virtual event is choreographed well enough, to entertain guests I think this ‘virtual opening night’ could be equally as exciting.”
Barker, however, is very optimistic. “I am very happy we are working [on] a solution for being only virtual and am very hopeful it’ll work out,” she said. “I am most excited about the show itself. The show is the real highlight and being about to see everyone’s work and what it means to them.” There are some concerns regarding Zoom and the many malfunctions that could happen, but they are confident things will work out.
Because of these concerns and having a limit on the number of people attending, they are inviting up to 300 people. However, they are recording the meeting and uploading it on YouTube for those who want to view it later.
Although the seniors weren’t able to create 3D sculptures, more digital art was incorporated in the show than has been shown in the past. “The work is of the highest technical skill, and there is more digital work than ever before,” Ms. Posey said. “But it is in some cases the work is very raw and emotionally powerful.”
The Class of 2021 has had many hardships in the past year, not only because of the COVID-19 pandemic but also the tragic passing of senior Simeon Mukuna. Despite this, they’ve remained hard-working and optimistic at the future. “I’m so very proud of all my students this year for rising to the difficult challenges of producing quality work for the show and their exams in the spring,” Ms. Posey said. “They are my heroes.”