The Annual Hopkinton High School Honors Exhibition is a tradition that spans over a decade. This exhibition is an opportunity to exhibit the artwork of some of the school’s most dedicated student artists. These students exhibit a level of achievement and commitment that makes them stand out among their peers. They have dedicated much of their time both in school and out of school honing their craft and skills and are leading contributors in the high school art community. Working traditionally with an advisor and in conjunction with the Hopkinton Center for the Arts, students work together on curating pieces and preparing them for presentation over the course of several months. This opportunity provides students with an authentic gallery experience demonstrating to them how professional artists and institutions prepare for an exhibition. To mark the event, students also prepare for an opening reception in which the Hopkinton community is invited to participate in. While this year we cannot recreate the whole experience for our students, we’d like to honor them in this virtual way. We’d like to thank this year’s advisor and arts educator, Kris Kellenberger, who worked diligently with students and the HCA behind the scenes preparing for the show that was to take place on March 19, 2020. We’d also like to thank Kris Waldman, co-director of the Hopkinton Center for the Arts for always working with us to continue this yearly tradition. Join us as we celebrate these 9 talented artists. We are so proud of you all!
Opening Photo: Space Is the Place, cut paper, brush tip pen, 2019, Linnea Pappas-Byers
Throughout my inquiry this year, I’ve explored my opinions on societal issues that impact me and my perception of the world around me. Some of the issues addressed in my various works are more student-specific, including “Homework – Sleep Deprivation in Students”, while the rest are more applicable to wider society, including “Healthcare: A Broken System”, “Celebrating Suffrage – The Right to Vote”, and "Meanwhile at the Social Distancing Protests: An Ode to Medical Professionals".
In many of my AP Studio Art pieces, the materials used to create the piece hold significance to the issue they address. In the sash I created for “Celebrating Suffrage – The Right to Vote”, for example, I used hand-sewing and natural fibers with modern fabric paint to connect to traditional roles of 19th and 20th century women in a 21st century context.
– Sara Weissinger
Celebrating Suffrage – The Right to Vote, Sash and cockade materials: cotton twill, thread, fabric paint, image materials: digital photography, 2020, Sara Weissinger
I feel like I’ve always been the type of person who experiences emotions really, really intensely. It’s like I get stuck in that emotion, and I’ve always struggled with properly articulating exactly how enormous my emotions feel within my body. I always end up thinking, “No one else experiences what I feel,” which I think is pretty improbable because I’m just one human in a world with billions of people. I want to represent my emotions in a visual way so that I can better understand myself while trying to see just how many people can relate to what I experience on a day-to-day basis. In a way, I think my art is a way to reassure myself that I’m not alone in my seemingly isolated experiences. The thought that my individual perspective is actually part of the normal, much more expansive narrative of just living and existing as a human being is really humbling. It makes me feel small but in a warm way, like when you’re under a pile of heavy blankets on a cold winter's day, and you rub your legs together like a cricket.
– Grace Liu
Out of Ideas, paper installation, 2020, Grace Liu
Art to me has always been a place to experiment, explore, and be playful with new ideas. This has been central to the work I've done this year in AP Studio Art, in which I have explored the unlikely intersection between two artistic disciplines: cut paper and illustration. This portfolio has taken me on a journey through my mind at the cusp of a big transition in my life, from nostalgia for my childhood fascination with outer space and fairies, to my summer trip to Chicago for a college tour, to my overwhelming anxieties about affording my attendance at art school.
– Linnea Pappas-Byers
The Great American Money Grab, cut paper, parker, brush tip pen, matboard, 2020, Linnea Pappas-Byers
Art allows me to express my thoughts and ideas visually. I would characterize most of my work as being realistic, or impressionist in nature. My favorite part of creating realist art is the fact that I'm able to directly translate an idea or image through an artistic medium onto a canvas. I find that I enjoy producing pieces of realist artwork because they are able to be appreciated in the same way regardless of who's viewing them. The first piece, "Art Car", is an Airbrushed sneaker inspired by the 2010 BMW M3 GT2's Le Mans vinyl. Using a white shoe as the canvas, All parts of the shoe that I didn't want to be painted where coved up with red vinyl tape. Black Acrylic was applied over the white canvas portion of the shoe. Then, Tape was applied to the now black canvas to create straight lines down the silhouette of the shoe, to mimic the M3's Design. To paint over the black Acrylic, A layer of white was applied for each line added to bring out the brightness of the main color airbrushed ontop. This process took the longest because of only a few lines could be completed at a time. The single shoe took at least 80 hours to finish. I learned that I enjoy producing functional artwork because it's something that can be touched and worn rather than just observed static on a wall. My main philosophy is that art should, first and foremost, try to convey a single obvious message. That is why most of my work is in a realistic style rather than obscure.
– Christopher Benham
Jaguar XJR-14, stenciled acrylic, 2019, Christopher Benham
This year I focused on making pieces that revolve around different social issues that men and women face. For example, in the Female Rights Timeline, I explore how gender equality has progressed over the years. Or in A Perception of Makeup, I tackle how the usage of makeup is surrounded by different misconceptions and feminine stereotypes. Growing up during a time when the world is more self-aware of societal flaws, I think it's important to utilize the voice we have to share our thoughts and opinions through a creative and respectful outlet. Art to me is just that, a way for people to communicate with one another when words and other sources aren’t enough. It’s a common ground available to anyone that has something to say, and this class has given me a chance to explore my own voice more.
– Katharine Lagasse
Rosie, charcoal, 2020, Katharine Lagasse
Over the course of this year I decided to explore how music can impact me through my art. I first thought to do this while listening to a song that reminded me of the first times I ever heard that song. The more I thought about the idea the more I realized how music can carry very specific visuals in our heads and I wanted to be able to share how certain songs make me feel. As this year has progressed I have realized that through this process of art making I can not only express how I feel, I have also been able to learn more about myself and how my brain works
– Keelan Boyle
Drums, photography, paint markers, 2020, Keelan Boyle
Through my art, I want to bring more attention to the epidemic of anxiety and depression affecting teens and the stigmatization surrounding antidepressant medication. Teenagers should not have to suffer just because they have not been informed as to why they feel the way they do. It’s essential that students have access to accurate information about their mental health in order to get help when they start noticing symptoms. Teenagers should also know that it is okay to have depression and anxiety, and that medication, when taken under the supervision of a mental health care professional, can be a viable and life changing option.
I also wanted to bring attention to the dangerous role that televison and media play in portraying suicide. The World Health Organization published guidelines for how the media should report information regarding suicide but, sadly those guidelines are being dangerously disregarded. Television shows and news outlets romanticize and sensationalize in order to attract and retain viewers. Often the media describes suicide as something tragically beautiful. But suicide is not beautiful. It is just tragic. And it is preventable.
It is my hope that the research presented in my artwork will help to increase dialogue surrounding teens who struggle with anxiety and depression and to shift inaccurate and unhealthy perceptions about mental health, increasing hope and inspiring self advocacy.
– Lily Vaughan
What’s Stopping You?, colored pencils, collage, 2020, Lily Vaughan
This year in AP Studio Art I have been exploring the idea of what it means to be female in today’s society. I am really examining the pressure that young girls, specifically teens, experience in their day to day lives. Concepts like sexuality, femininity, and self-identification are seen throughout my work. I find the female form extremely intriguing and unique in many ways so I have been enjoying experimenting with rendering the female form in different mediums. I am excited to continue to explore the pressures that young girls face on a daily basis and how these pressures form them into the women they will become.
– Keira Schnur
The Puzzle Girl, mixed media, 2020, Keira Schnur
This year in AP art and design I’ve been focused on political views that I feel more strongly about. I can easily express my opinions on such controversial topics through the work I’m making because there is nobody to impose their opinion on what I’m creating while I am creating it. I’m in complete control of what I’m making and what I want to communicate. On top of what is shown here, I’ve been able to cover a variety of topics from abortion laws to government control in a democracy, all very important and relevant concepts. I've created my works with a variety of mediums, and have gone to 3D design in a few of them, using whatever will communicate what I want to say most effectively.
– Julia diBenedetto
Deforestation Behind the Scenes, watercolor, 2019, Julia DiBenedetto
All photo rights belong to each of the individual artists. Reproduction is forbidden.