Enthusiastic chatter filled The Romano Gallery on the evening of May 5 as students, faculty, staff and parents gathered to view the Student Art Exhibition. Displaying 240 pieces by more than 130 students, the annual show provides an opportunity for Blair artists to showcase their work for their classmates to enjoy. The walls of the gallery were filled with paintings, drawings, photographs, architectural drawings, cyanotype prints and more, while the center of the gallery contained pedestaled sculptures and ceramic works.
“The student art show is always a favorite of mine because it gives our community the chance to appreciate the artwork their peers have been creating all year long,” shared fine arts department chair Kate Sykes. “This show is like our state championship game. It’s the culmination of months of effort, persistence and growth. It’s always so rewarding to see the pride on our students’ faces as they explain their pieces to their family and friends.”
The exhibition also allows our students to experience a new element of being an artist and consider questions as professional artists: How do you want your work to be displayed? How can you best present your work so the viewer will understand your intentions? Duc Dinh ’22, a seasoned photography student at Blair, used the exhibition as an opportunity to combine photographs from throughout his Blair career into an interactive experience. Taking inspiration from early childhood viewfinder toys, Duc created slides for each of his favorite pieces and meticulously taped each one into a View-Master wheel. The result was its own miniature, interactive and immersive gallery of Duc’s work that visitors could enjoy.
“Being part of the student show was truly phenomenal,” explained Duc. “I got to connect with people around campus that I otherwise wouldn’t see. Through my work, which I have dedicated a significant amount of time to, as well as others, we were able to form a community connection. It is amazing to see how all artwork was consumed, talked about and appreciated by people of all ages. I especially loved seeing the different messages viewers took from the art, depending on their stage of life!”
While the cheers in the gallery didn’t quite rival those of stadium stands, a contagious excitement filled the room as community members explored the gallery, asking questions and exclaiming over their favorite pieces. The celebratory energy certainly felt like a culminating championship after months, or even years, of dedication.
The Student Art Exhibition opened for viewers on May 5 and will remain open through May 23 for visitors and community members to enjoy.