Art Department Hosts Annual Art Show

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On Thursday May 24, Stamford High School held their annual Art Show. The small, black-walled hallway on the art floor was illuminated with work from art class students at Stamford High. Over 600 drawings, paintings, digital media, photography, and other art forms were all put up on display for the community to see. The show gave awards to students with outstanding artwork, including first, second, and third place and honorable mention.

The artwork on the walls was a culmination of exemplary pieces that art teachers had picked out over the course of the year or students carefully chose themselves. The AP art class students had the opportunity to craft their own panel filled with any art they wanted from the course of the year. Each panel reflected the students aesthetics, favorite mediums, and central themes found throughout their art. Strategically placed work and series were spread out on the wall and topped with a personal design of their name. From panel to panel, the variation of students focuses and interests could be seen, but collectively, the talent and creativity from the Stamford High classes resonated throughout the entire hall.

Students were given awards by judges who were mostly local art school teachers, alumni or art professionals. As teachers, the passion seen from all students over the year would have made it too difficult to decide themselves.

While the awards gave students well deserved recognition, they were only a small part of what was gained from the show. Being given the opportunity to share art work, especially for highschool students, can be a nerve wracking. Art in all forms is a way of expressing our inner selves when other ways fail us. Photography teacher Mr Cusano elaborates: “As people, the one thing we can control is our expression of ourselves, it makes us human.” In their panels, students express themselves in different ways than we normally do, but in a way that makes most sense to them.

Because art is such a personal and self driven form of expression, there are times when we don’t always understand it, leaving much room for criticism and judgement. Displaying art work for everyone to see can make students feel vulnerable. Those aren’t things to run from, though, says Cuscano. Watching students go through the process of displaying their work and receiving feedback for it, he says the art show helps them gain confidence. By taking a risk and allowing their work to be displayed and discussed, these art students “learn to accept critical analysis and not be afraid of people’s opinion,” Cusano said.