New Art Exhibit Challenges Students to Transform Collaboration

Experiments in Artistic Collaboration
Experiments in Artistic Collaboration
Experiments in Artistic Collaboration
Experiments in Artistic Collaboration
Experiments in Artistic Collaboration
Experiments in Artistic Collaboration
Experiments in Artistic Collaboration
Experiments in Artistic Collaboration
Experiments in Artistic Collaboration
Experiments in Artistic Collaboration
New Art Exhibit Challenges Students to Transform Collaboration
Brittany Rockenfeller

Art lives everywhere. It’s in downtown Blairstown on the exterior walls decorated with murals. It’s in Blair’s hallways, where both student and professional artwork adorn the walls. Wherever students gather to learn—whether from instructors or from one another—art can be a catalyst for creativity. As part of its culture, Blair Academy continues to support and embrace student artists.

The Romano Gallery is no exception. Known for welcoming and embracing artists of all styles and types, the Gallery recently opened Experiments in Artistic Collaboration, featuring the collaborative work of Blair’s student artists. In this community-based show, groups and pairs of students experiment across and within arts disciplines offered at Blair, finding opportunities to stretch and take bigger aesthetic risks as they interpret their work through a multidisciplinary lens. The exhibit showcases the results of this experimental journey in art creation at the end of the first semester.

The exhibition has allowed the Blair community to experience artwork from fellow classmates and students. Featuring ceramics, painting, graphic design, illustration and photography, the show is a testament to the craftsmanship and creativity of Blair students.

The fine arts department, led by Kate Sykes, wanted the exhibit to lead to moments of curiosity and teamwork. The team, composed of Evan Thomas, Tyson Trish and Robert Hanson, is always open to discovering new ways of making and thinking about art.

For students, the exhibition was a challenge in both artistic skill and teamwork. Students were tasked with creating a project and collaborating to bring the piece to life. Each team ended with a self-evaluation of strengths and weaknesses.

The artwork

“Layers of Life,” created by Shanayah Kasam ’23, Ava Satasi ’23 and Darcy Setliff ’23, is a realistic sculpture inspired by growth through different periods of life, as noted by their project description. Through the project, the artistic team improved in their patience, in their time management, in their problem-solving skills and resilience.

Maya Ciminello ’22 and Eleanor Dana ’22 crafted “City of Lights,” a hanging sculpture inspired by floating and cascading orbs. The duo explained their difference in work styles as their greatest collaborative challenge, as Eleanor is a perfectionist as Maya prefers to go with the flow. Together, they worked to overcome their differences, explored new media and built on their strengths to create their piece.

“Bison in Wyoming,” a Photoshop collage by Bobby Castillo ’22 and James Castillo ’24, combined Bobby’s watercolor skills with James’ digital editing and photography skills. Together, the duo learned essential collaboration and patience, while figuring out how to blend their two talents to create the piece.

In all, the exhibit exemplifies how art connects with curriculum by building creative and innovative thinking. To learn more about the exhibition and how to attend, visit www.blair.edu/romano-gallery.