Painted selfies and ceramic plates find a home in the atrium

Painted+selfies+and+ceramic+plates+find+a+home+in+the+atrium

Ethan Bookstein

Art students and family members admire portraits and ceramic dinner plates. AP Studio Art students created the self-portraits and Drawing and Painting students created the plates.

Dan Bidikov, Editor-in-Chief

Schreiber art students have again succeeded in communicating their stories through the visual medium in the form of a gallery of work.  On Dec. 12, student artwork from both upper class advanced placement art and Drawing and Painting classes was on display in the atrium.

The show demonstrated the art of over 150 students spread out over two classes.  Effectively, there were two exhibits.  The older group of advanced placement students studied the popular “selfie” phenomenon through an artistic lens.  After taking pictures of themselves, the young artists re-rendered them on canvas. Under the direction of art teacher Ms. Miranda Best, students explored the craft of the self portrait.

“They got to decide how they wanted to portray themselves using the photographs as a beginning point,” said Best.  The amount of freedom led the students to pursue different directions with their work.  Some opted for a more realistic approach, making careful use of lighting to accurately portray their features.  Others tended towards the abstract, exaggerating their physical traits and presenting their photos in a fashion that was less lifelike.

“It is always a struggle to try and replicate yourself on a canvas.  There’s a conflict of what you want others to see, what is true to the photo you are working with, and what is true to yourself,” said exhibited artist senior Joelle Feinberg.  “The portraits don’t just capture the physical attributes of the artist, but also their emotions and visions.”

In an exhibit titled Around the Table, Drawing and Painting students submitted detailed ceramic pieces.  Assigned to tell a story about their heritage, the exhibit’s participants were required to locate some kind of family heirloom and make a statement about it using the medium of a dinner table item like a plate or a cup.

“A student could take anything that was a traditional symbol of their family —an artifact, story, recipe—and translate that idea into into art,” said Drawing and Painting teacher Ms. Terri Hall.

The students involved in the Around the Table project had an experience that, while full of challenges, was totally fresh and not like what they were familiar with.  “What I planned to do didn’t work.  I had to change what I wanted to do because of the medium,” said freshman art student Julia Hayden.

In order to fully master the procedures required to put together the work, the art department enlisted the help of professional ceramicist Jude Amsel.

Amsel is an accomplished artist with experience under her belt.  Her specialty is putting photographic imagery into ceramics and glass, with unique techniques.  Most recently, she was commissioned to build a sculpture in the new 9/11 museum.   She tried to communicate a message about artistic purpose.  “Works of art should be thoroughly provoking,” said Amsel.  “They should pique an interest of the viewer— how did they do that?  Storytellers can express themselves with photography and sculpture.”

She came from the Great Neck Arts Center after the reception of a PWEF art grant.  The grant, co-written by several art teachers, allowed the school to receive funding so that Ms. Amsel could instruct the students in more high level ceramic ventures.

“Ultimately it’s about students and we want them to have quality programming,” said art teacher Ms. Marisa DeMarco.

The exhibit was documented by the Film and Television Production Club.  The footage will be put on the school website to propel interest in school events as well as student broadcasting.