By Sarah Huang
Although the last day of classes is officially over for the seniors, it’s hard to say they won’t be remembered for the extraordinary work they’ve done throughout the years. With the advent of internships and AP exams, one should find time to take adequate breaks and catch up on school events they missed while the year was racing by. If you were able to stop by Bobcat Hall last month between April 5th to April 6th, you would’ve noticed that it was filled top to bottom with paintings, photographs, digital drawings, sculptures, pots, and various other forms of art created by the students of Byram Hills. The AP Art Show featured the work of some of the most passionate and creative juniors and seniors at Byram Hills High School. These pieces are the result of more than a semester’s worth of hard work, and each truly showed the success and talent of many students who were sincere about creating art. I had the chance to talk with a few senior students and gain insight into each of their respective concentrations, styles, and inspirations.
This year, Allison took AP Studio with Mrs. Karlin. Her pieces reflect a concentration of landscapes and cityscapes, and her favorite medium is watercolor. When creating, she says that “It’s a lot of fun to work with [watercolor] because even mistakes look whimsical. The piece ends up looking “loose,” which is a style that I really like.” Allison draws her inspiration from nature as a result of spending a lot of time hiking in the woods, and therefore a lot of the pictures she ends up taking are of nature, such as forests and waterfalls. She then turns these pieces into art.
Kieran (Keen) is a senior who also took AP Studio with Mrs. Karlin. His concentration is focused upon the contrast between Ireland and Africa in order to emphasize the presence of cultural and geographic diversity. Kieran loves using colored pencils and he focuses mainly on portraits. He is inspired by our own lovely teacher Mrs. Karlin who has helped a lot with the process of preparing senior portfolios for the AP.
Known for her various clothing styles, Julianna (Julie) took AP 3D design taught by Mrs. Menasche. In her own words, she says that her concentration “loosely focuses on the relationship of fashion to history and what that means as time progresses and we modernize.” She doesn’t have one medium that she prefers to any others, but she has a background in textiles and has sewn and knit clothes, which she uses in her work. In general, she states “fashion inspires me, as it so mirrors the culture (and especially the gender roles) of a time, and I think aesthetically it’s just a really nice art medium.”
Hannah took AP Studio with Mrs. Karlin as well as Sculpture and Ceramics with Mrs. Menasche. As her concentration, she mainly works with watercolor and ink. Her preferred mediums are charcoal, oil, and watercolor, and she also loves drawing in pen. Her inspiration comes from an artist named Egon Schiele, a protege of Gustav Klimt, as well as her grandparents.
Eleanor (Ellie) is a dancer in addition to being an artist, and she too was among the many who took AP Studio with Mrs. Karlin this year. Her concentration focuses on the gradual progression from human to nature, and in her work she tries to convey the way humanity often mimics nature and vice versa. “I enjoy experimenting with different mediums. Despite this, I would say that my work is consistently very detail-oriented,” she says. “I use softer mediums like chalks or pastels to create a more soothing composition, while I tend to use graphite or colored pencil in order to achieve a higher level of detail in my pieces. My depictions of nature often have a softer tone to them while my portraits possess more detail.” She is inspired by anything she finds beautiful, and she often turns to nature and people, as she appreciates how varied and unpredictable both can be. She furthers, “As a result, much of the art I create is influenced by a nature perspective or human expression.”
Inspired by Andy Warhol, Devon is a senior who took AP Photo with Mrs. Karlin. His concentration is still life with dramatic lighting where the objects in the pictures become progressively more isolated. All of his work is in digital photography, to which he says, “In the pictures, I try to get a close perspective on the objects I’m using to make them seem larger and more lifelike than they really are, and I just really do what I think looks good.” As mentioned previously, Devon draws inspiration from Andy Warhol’s paintings, especially the bright, saturated colors and the distinct personality of each piece. In the photos on the left, his usage of colors is very similar in that they are highlighted dramatically. “I try to do similar things with my pieces and make each one have colors that pop”.
Finally, our last artist is Allegra who also took AP Photography with Mrs. Karlin. When describing her work, she says, “My concentration is Pink is Power’: the notion that pink, when reclaimed by women, can be used to express empowerment and feelings of strength specific to them. I aim to incorporate the message throughout my work that there is an inherent power and authority that comes with being a woman.” She shoots mostly with 35mm analog film and uses her mom’s old Canon, allowing her to connect with the medium of photography more manually, in addition to forming more credibility as a knowledgeable artist.
She is heavily inspired by the work of Dorothea Lange, a renowned photojournalist who gained notoriety during the Great Depression for her exposure on migrant workers. Allegra says, “Her honed craft, ability to create empathy with portraiture, and all around fierceness] have greatly inspired me to pursue photography as a passion.”
While there were many other artists whose work exhibited at the art show, these are great examples of some of the most talented painters, photographers, and sculptors in Byram’s history of artists. It is deeply inspiring to see the amount of effort that is put into each piece, all of which truly goes to show how important it is to support creativity and artistic expression. Bravo to the variety of pieces our seniors were able to create this year, and we hope to see you at the next show!