A Walk Through the Shen: Student Work
In these last few weeks of school, comprehensive exhibitions of student artwork will adorn the walls of the Shen Gallery. For a few days at a time, the gallery will be home to the AT Photo exhibit, the AT Studio Art Exhibit, and the Senior Show. Students, staff, and faculty who take time to walk through the Shen will find thought-provoking and inspiring work of some of Packer’s most accomplished art students.
In Packer’s AT art classes, students are tasked with investigating their own artistic passions, be it through photography, painting, or sculpture. Students in AT art classes are required to have demonstrated interest and dedication in their respective medium throughout previous years.
“They are supposed to come up with a project of some personal interest within a visual medium,” explained Mr. Baylin, teacher of AT Studio Art. “Eve, for instance, is working on studies of the nude figure. Alex has been working on a series of large paintings that often involve self portraits and the integration of poetry.”
Mr. Baylin is impressed with the work coming out of this class, remarking, “I couldn’t be happier with what’s going on in this class. It’s very high level. The level of work is just extraordinary.”
“In AT Studio during the second half of the year you choose a focus and you choose an artist mentor,” said Hannah Goncher (‘19). “My artist mentor was Edward Hopper. I’ve used a bunch of different mediums, such as oil paint, watercolors, and colored pencils for a brief amount of time.”
Like Hannah, students in these classes have taken advantage of the opportunity to follow their own artistic paths since the beginning of second semester.
“I am focusing on the impact social media has on our everyday lives,” said Sophia Partow (‘19), a student in AT Photography with Ms. Eagle. “Through my photos I try to show how it gets in the way of authentic relationships because we’re on our phones rather than spending time talking to people and going outside and playing a game.”
This year’s AT Photo show features a variety of content, ranging from religion at Packer to skate parks in New York City.
Sam Ervolino (‘18) compiled a collection of portraits that demonstrate how gender specific bathrooms are alienating to the queer community. Sam overlayed images of the male and female signs that indicate which bathroom to use over his photos to make their presence more profound.
Nina Houston (‘19), another AT Photo student, focused her project on how religion plays a role in the Packer community, and the extent to which it affects student lives in the world at large.
The personal interests that Sam and Nina explore through their art have real world significance beyond the classroom. It is this attitude of marrying art to personal interests that makes these exhibits representational of such a broad array of talent. Students delving into topics about which they care so deeply makes these Shen Gallery shows particularly striking.
Students in these AT classes have worked hard to develop the skill set to apply their talent and use it to explore matters that interest them.
“It will be wonderful seeing [the work] in the shen gallery,” remarked Mr. Baylin. Seeing the art displayed in the Shen Gallery is a lovely way of wrapping up these art classes, as students not only get gallery experience, but get to show of their art to their peers.