What is Lab Arts?
Walk into Gordon Parks Art Hall and you’ll be greeted with the bright display of artwork spread across the floor, walls and windows.
This exhibition is a part of the Lab Arts celebration, which began April 26 and will continue through May 10 with art made by students from pre-k to 12th grade. This showing is open to students, parents and visitors to enjoy.
The visual art is only one aspect of Lab Arts, as other events including the middle school spring musical, the high school film festival, the John Dewey: Art as Experience Social Sculpture Workshop, and the DigiMUSE and Electric Gordyland Concerts.
Gina Alicea, visual arts teacher and director of Lab Arts, said she hopes Lab Arts will demonstrate “how important the arts are,” recognizing that the Lab Schools now have a facility just for the arts.
“I think that John Dewey envisioned art as a practice, a part of life, so every student here takes art and they’re involved in making art, so this hall and this exhibition supports that mission,” she said.
Lower and middle school students walking through the halls can admire the art, and get the chance to see not only their own work displayed, but "the opportunities that are here for them as they get older."
The exhibition is open to students during the day, and will close at 6 p.m. May 10.
“I’m just excited to see the progression of the student’s creativity to the seniors at Lab which is this exhibition that’s in the Corvus gallery,” Ms. Alicea said.
Meet the Artists
Sophomore Miriam Bloom constructed a portfolio of photographs concentrating on eyes. She described how to her, one can see an abundance of emotion through peoples eyes without knowing anything about them.
"I like catching people off guard when I ask to take their picture because that makes the shot appear more natural," Miriam said.
She also mentioned that she shoots almost all her photos in natural light outside or in complete darkness, only using small LED lights to highlight the face she wants to be in focus.
Junior Abigail Slimmon created a piece of art with her scoliosis back brace of 3.5 years. She was prompted to create art for her English class unit, Argument in Art, and decided to use the opportunity to share her story.
"My brace was a huge part of my life growing up and I never really got the chance to reflect on it," Abigail said. "I decided this project was the perfect chance to be able to reflect and do something with the chunk of plastic that had such a big impact on me but was just sitting in my closet."
To make the piece, Abigail drew on the back of the brace with paint markers.
"The overall idea I was trying to get across was that my experience was a journey but it wasn’t all perfect," she said.
Senior Celia Garb used many layers of acrylic paint to make her painting, which was inspired by author J.D. Salinger.
"There are a few under paintings on this piece because I used a bunch of layers of acrylic paint, eventually stopping when I got to something I liked," Celia said.
The quote painted on the left side of the canvas is from Salinger's book Seymour, which had peaked Celia's interest when she received it for her 14th birthday.
"I'm actually doing an independent study on Salinger because I'm super interested in his work," Celia said.
Sophomore Rithik Puri decided to make a piece on climate change because he did not think people were seeing it as a priority in their lives. He thought that this would be a way to draw attention to the issue and to get people thinking about climate change in new ways.
He started by crafting a newspaper layer, which he had initially wanted to be composed of different articles about climate change. Unfortunately, he could not find enough articles on climate change, so he shifted his focus.
"I changed course and picked newspaper articles that talked about the economy, because if we can get people thinking about climate change from an economic perspective perhaps they would feel it was a more pressing issue," Rithik said.
The colorful painting in the center of the piece is about how climate change will affect the generations to come.
"The stencil I made shows an adult handing a globe off to a child who would likely be unable to sustain the load, which is quite frankly what we and generations above us are doing if we don’t figure out a way to handle the problem," Rithik said.
Art by Charlie Kirstenbroker
Junior Charlie Kirstenbroker was inspired to create this piece by the figure drawings her class was doing at the time. She had done some other works on her own skateboards she broke, but for this project she specifically purchase a board.
"Because the other boards were for actual skating, they had grip tape on the front so I could only make my art on the back," Charlie said. "I bought this board off Amazon because I wanted to be able to make a larger piece."
Charlie started with the outline of the girl, which she initially intended to be a silhouette, but she changed her mind halfway through when she added the plants and fish.
"The one box with Mandarin in them say my name and the other one says 'you are my heaven,' which is the title of the piece," Charlie said.