Tonight is a big night at MA: the Night of the Arts. Our school is unusual because it has a two-year art requirement for all students, who can choose from music, theater, dance, or the visual arts, or a combination. Most students take more than two years and have opportunities to showcase their work throughout the academic year.
Tonight Aikido students and their teacher Dolano Arthur will demonstrate some of the movements they’ve learned and practiced this semester and allow the audience to join in.
In addition, we begin a three-night concert series featuring the performances by Cirque du Soul, Reign, WildWorks, and three jazz ensembles.
Visual arts students will present their photography, ceramics, drawings, and paintings in the 40th annual MA Spring Art Show, which opens tonight and runs until next Wednesday. Work in this show has been recognized and exhibited by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers Scholastic Art Awards, the National K-12 Ceramic Exhibition, the Nikon Photographer’s Forum, the Marin Society of Artists, and the San Jose Museum of Art. (You can see some more photographs in a February blog post.)
Teachers Katharine Boyd, Anne Maurice, and Jenny Rosenberg asked senior visual arts students to look back on their four years of art at MA and reflect upon how they have grown and changed, what they have learned, and how they might continue these lessons in the future. Below are some excerpts from their writing.
“I have become a better photographer every year and been willing to push myself more than I was my freshman or sophomore year…I hope to continue taking photography classes while in college, and I know I will always continue taking photographs throughout my life.”
“I’ve been in an unusual situation—I’ve had the same art teacher for the past four years…Katharine…I didn’t think of it much until I started hearing of kids that had had a history or English teacher for five or six semesters, and I realized how lucky I was to not be bored or tired of a teacher after four years. I think art is a very hard subject to teach, mostly because there is a fine line between how much a teacher should teach and let kids experiment, and also when to tell them something looks terrible or to just let them do what they want. Katharine has always ridden that line impeccably. She’s also very inspirational and brings a lot of energy to the classroom.”
“I’m going to take what I’ve learned in photo at MA as a good grounding and base for my future photo career. I look forward to following my passion—photography— throughout college and use it later in life traveling and photographing the world.”
— Alex Cooke
“Philosophically, much of the knowledge of the arts will go into my thought process in college. I see myself spending quality time in the darkroom, but not much. In the end I’m only able to appreciate the art that teaches me about myself, but I have no way of knowing at the outset of a project whether I will benefit from it. I’ve learned to dive in head first and to create my own motivation, and that will stick with me….I enjoyed discovering myself through photography.”
“I have become far more confident in my work and my ability to trust my artistic instincts. I have become far less critical of my work and more easily able to laugh at myself and grow from my artistic mistakes and risks…I am highly motivated by my classmates’ work ethic and that sense of drive has sustained me for the past four years.”
“I have developed a greater appreciation for the patience and skill required to be an artist…[My most memorable class was] when I shadowed MA and visited Anne’s visual arts class. It seemed so fun and was one of the main reasons I came to MA.”
[What stands out to me is] the freedom we have as students to direct the course of our projects ourselves. It’s been great to have the ability to focus on the parts of photography that I enjoy the most, for example portrait shots and people in general. I’ve definitely grown in terms of using applications such as Photoshop, but I think I still enjoy film more.”
“I feel so much more confident in my art now. In class, everyone has grown so tight that we all work together on everyone’s projects in a way, giving lots of constructive criticism and compliments to help the artist. In the art community, everyone is with the same group of people since freshman year, so by senior year the class is super comfortable together and know each other very well as artists.”
“I have become much more comfortable understanding how to use a camera and being able to control different aspects of my shots. Because of this, photography has become much more of an art for me.”
“What stands out to me is the caliber of talent throughout the ceramics, draw paint, and photography departments. I think I have grown as an artist in an attempt to rival the talent that I see around me.”
“I think what stands out to me most is actually discovering that I have some semblance—albeit small—of artistic skill. Growing up, my more artistically inclined sisters always teased me for my lack of apparent talent. Now I can at least show off my ceramic work without being laughed at. [My most memorable moment was,] surprisingly, freshman year art. I met my best friend in that class, and I also met Anne, who displayed the patience to allow us to continue to sit together. I knew I would take ceramics for the rest of my time at MA after that class.”
Please note: There are a few an additional opportunities to experience art at MA this month: our dancers will perform at assembly on May 10 and an evening performance on May 11, and the Chamber Gladiators will perform on the evening of May 18. All are welcome.