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Emerging Artists and Writers Showcase Richmond Art Center Fall 2020

Each year the Visual Arts Department invites students to participate in our summer Emerging Artist program. The students spend the summer working on a collection of artwork in their chosen mediums, including painting, drawing, sculpture, video, photography, digital art, and more. The summer art project is then displayed in the fall in our Emerging Artists Showcase. The artists make no less than three pieces in any size during the summer. This year will look a little different, as we are limiting the number of people who are on campus. However, the show must go one! You are invited to visit the virtual Emerging Artists Showcase right here.

Featured Emerging Artists: senior Krishnapriya Rajaram, freshman Isabella Wang, freshman Emily Tang, sophomore Ella Xue, senior Audrey Zhang, and sophomore Xiyuan Lin.
Visual Arts Faculty (L to R): Jen McCandless, Mark Zunino, Christian Ryan, Stacy-Ann "Ro" Rowe '97

KRISHNAPRIYA RAJARAM '21

Artist Statement

Priya is a senior at Loomis Chaffee. She has been doing art for as long as she can remember. Mixed media is her favorite type of art. She loves using the resources around her to create something new. Her current artwork is a combination of skateboards and nature. In her 3D Fabrication class the students were tasked with creating a skateboard, and Priya took advantage of her artistic freedom and created the amazing work you see here.

"Fragile Medium" - Mixed Media, Materials: Contact Lenses, Cotton Cloth, and Thread, June 2020
"Fragile Medium" - Mixed Media, Materials: Contact Lenses, Cotton Cloth, and Thread, June 2020
"Fragile Medium" - Mixed Media, Materials: Contact Lenses, Cotton Cloth, and Thread, June 2020
"Fragile Medium" - Mixed Media, Materials: Contact Lenses, Cotton Cloth, and Thread, June 2020
"Blossoming Vision" - Mixed Media, Materials: Contact Lenses Packs (Plastic & Foil), August 2020
"Blossoming Vision" - Mixed Media, Materials: Contact Lenses Packs (Plastic & Foil), August 2020
"Blossoming Vision" - Mixed Media, Materials: Contact Lenses Packs (Plastic & Foil), August 2020
"Blossoming Vision" - Mixed Media, Materials: Contact Lenses Packs (Plastic & Foil), August 2020
"Circles Medium" - 3D printing, Material: Plastic, February 2020
"Circles Medium" - 3D printing, Material: Plastic, February 2020
"Circles Medium" - 3D printing, Material: Plastic, February 2020

ISABELLA WANG '24

Artist Statement

I make art because I love doing it, and it is fun. The painting is meant to be very vibrant and pop out, while the still lifes have a more calm feeling. I hope that others who view my pieces will enjoy seeing them as much as I did making them.

"Flowers" - Oil paint, December 2019
"Blue Vase" - Pencil+color pencil, December 2019
"Horse" - Pencil, February 2020

EMILY TANG '24

Artist Statement

Photography for me is far beyond just taking pictures of things. It is about exploration, curiosity, learning, and most importantly, experiencing. I am lucky to be a photographer, lucky that my lenses have taken me to so many places, to be able to experience so many different colors of the world, to look into the beauty of this land. And all I can do is to record these wonders and hopefully bring to you the same astonishment I fell for.

The people in the photos are the members of the Miao ethnic group in Guizhou, China. Although they are Chinese, they are very different from most people in China, like me, who belong to the Han ethnic group. They have very different clothing, rituals, traditions, language, etc., and it was amazing for me to learn about how this special group of people lived in such a pre-technology way. I captured their life because I want to show people the diversity of my country and the diversity of this world. There are so many beautiful things in the world that we know of yet so many waiting for us to discover. I hope my photos can truly affect the viewers in some way, whether a slight change in perspective or a little increase in their love towards the world.

"Guizhou, China" - Photography, August 2019
"Guizhou, China" - Photography, August 2019
"Guizhou, China" - Photography, August 2019
"Guizhou, China" - Photography, August 2019
"Guizhou, China" - Photography, August 2019
"Guizhou, China" - Photography, August 2019
"Guizhou, China" - Photography, August 2019
"Guizhou, China" - Photography, August 2019
"Guizhou, China" - Photography, August 2019

ELLA XUE '23

Artist Statement

Through my art, I enjoy capturing motion and preserving a moment in time — whether it’s beachgoers parasailing or a seagull diving. I am inspired by the beauty of nature and hope to convey that beauty through my photos. I love photography because you can encapsulate spontaneous moments, express yourself, and share your experiences with others. These images were taken in Manasquan River, N.J.

"En Volant" - Photography, August 2020
"Parasailing" - Photography, July 2020
"Catch of the Day" - Photography, August 2020

AUDREY ZHANG '21

Artist Statement

Audrey is a senior at Loomis. She really loves oil painting and drawing and is currently pursuing an independent study to put together a portfolio of paintings. Most of her paintings are either still life or portraits. Taking art at Loomis has allowed her to improve her technique and has challenged her to try new mediums and take more creative risks.

"Untitled" - Oil on canvas, Winter 2020
"Untitled" - Oil on canvas, Spring 2020

Xiyuan lin '23

Artist Statement

In this drawing, wires such as mouses, earphones, plugs, and more symbolizing the growing technological world we live in are tangled with tree branches representing the mix of both worlds as these elements come together in the woman. The right side of the woman is a druid, a person promoting connections to nature as a part of their everyday life. In the drawing, this part of the woman is holding a large wooden scepter and wearing clothes and jewelry embroidered with simple designs of vines and shapes. This side symbolizes sustainability and promotes the coexistence of mankind and nature. The left side of the woman is her modern side as her black floor gown is adorned with large Chanel symbols, representing the norm of sophisticated and often unsustainable clothing of modern upper-class women. She is also carrying a King Charles spaniel, an upper-class favorite, in a Burberry bag. The contrasting characteristics of the sides reveal the differences in the way of life of the two groups. Next to the woman, a pigeon is carrying a package representing the nature-based lifestyle of our pioneers, contrasting with the robotic dog representing the technology-based future as well. However, the background consists of a mix of plugs, chargers, earphones, mouses, and cable tangled with tree branches in a circle representing wholeness and inclusion. The blending of the symbols from both classes in the drawing show their contrasting ways of life and the coexistence of these distinct lifestyles.

"Modern Druid" - Colored pencils and a pen, August 2020

Launched in 2016 by Writing Initiatives at Loomis and the student literary publication The Loom, the Emerging Writers Program invites student writers of all inspirations to submit proposals for independent development during the summer. At the end of the summer, the Emerging Writers display their work alongside the Emerging Artists annual fall visual arts exhibit in the Richmond Art Center. This year, 33 students submitted their portfolios featuring a variety of styles and genres. Excerpts from the Emerging Writers 2020 summer portfolios on display in the RAC are shown below.

Featured Emerging Writers: senior Hannah Adler, sophomore Anika Ahilan, senior Andy Cao, junior Evan Caulfield, senior Julie Chung, junior Cally Dixon, senior Eva Millay Evans, junior Danielle Hong, senior John Howley, sophomore Madison Hua, sophomore Emily Khym, sophomore Brandon Kim, sophomore Nathan Ko, sophomore Kirsten Lees, sophomore Dora Lin, sophomore Michelle Liu, sophomore Chinelo Osakwe, sophomore Calvin Pan, junior Jenny Pan, senior Krishnapriya Rajaram, sophomore Amelia Rinaldi, senior Isabel Ruppel, sophomore Zoe Santilli, sophomore Hayley Scherer, sophomore Helen Shen, junior John Sihn, sophomore Amy Song, sophomore Eric Sun, senior Matthew Weng, sophomore Ella Xue, senior Stephanie Zhang, senior Olivia Zoga, and sophomore Jamie Zou.

“Sir, I’m just going to move your arm so I can take a blood pressure, okay?” I mumble as I push his limp arm away from his limp body. He can’t understand me, but I ask because I am 16 and he is 70 and I am not used to treating sick people like dolls.

I pump up the cuff and press my stethoscope deep into his inner elbow, squinting as if it’ll help me hear the rush of the blood in his artery over the roar of the ambulance on the highway. It doesn’t.

“Sir, are you in any pain?” the paramedic across from me shouts. Talking louder won’t help his brain understand, but she asks again, trying to push the words through his ears.

He’s gazing the other way, but he sputters “I realize, realize… I realize I realize realize realize.” The words lurch out of his mouth without direction.

From an untitled vignette

Hannah Adler ’21

As my cousins all reluctantly turned toward shore, I exclaimed “One more wave!” and turned toward the ocean. Facing the last wave of the day, I realized I had waited one wave too many. Too late to turn back now! I looked up with a sudden thrill of terror, fearing that the Burj Khalifa was about to fall on top of me. The wave was a bully, mocking my cousins for trying so hard to get out of its way and mocking me for staying.

From “One More Wave”

Anika Ahilan ’23

It’s not too hard to talk to a screen

To still begin the day with a nice greeting

Or to use sarcasm to be a little mean

But I still dread another Zoom meeting

I see my reflection when I talk

Illuminated by a bright outline of the box

Each day of listening, my face as still as rock

Each day, as monotone as the ticking of clocks

I miss the crisp laugh that rang in my ear

Without the microphone’s crackle

I miss being together and sitting here

With my loud friend’s overbearing cackle

How fortunate I am in this pandemic… do I deserve to whine?

I still long to speak with a friend’s eyes looking into mine

Untitled Sonnet

Andy Cao ’21

The wealthy, those who have the disposable income to donate, support, and fuel the campaigns that they prefer, are the people at or near the top of the workplace hierarchy: the employers, the bosses. The wealthy do not struggle from any of the same failures of government that the poor do. Desire for greater power and greater profit subsequently become a dominant perspective reflected in legislation. These desires are served with grace at the expense of providing the right to higher education, health care, a living wage, and access to child care. Politicians that appeal to the wants of the wealthy will receive donations that stomp the donations of the poor to trivial sums. As the power of our politicians grows increasingly more dependent on their compliance with the demands of their largest donors, not with the demands of the majority of the population, democracy fades to oligarchy, and often it is only the preferences of the mega-rich and of large corporations that are voiced in discussion about the policies implemented on everyone.

From “As We Crumble”

Evan Caulfield ’22

I turn on the same TV show

At the same time

At the same place.

The same characters,

The same lines,

The same plot.

I buy the usual snacks,

I bring the old board games.

Nothing has budged in my room,

Not even the candy wrappers I should throw away.

But everything is so different.

Everything is so foreign.

All the same, but I have changed.

You have changed.

Julie Chung ’21

The Moon basked in the power that Mother Nature held over the mighty Sun and found that she wanted to shine as brightly as him. So, for her second wish, the Moon asked for a million stars to glow like gems alongside her every night to lighten the dark sky. The now-vibrant Moon, while overjoyed at the promise of seeing the beautiful Earth again, found herself overcome with sadness. She existed as a companion for the Sun and found herself without a companion of her own. So, for her third and final wish, the Moon asked Mother Nature for a companion. Mother Nature, realizing that she had a way to lift her favorite’s spirits, granted the Moon two companions born out of her own hand—Wind and Wave. Mother Nature, ignoring the Sun’s protests, allowed the brothers to exist both during the day and at night and commanded the brothers to regale the Moon with tales about life during the day in hopes that the stories would bring the Moon joy.

From “Wind and Wave”

Cally Dixon ’22

For a moment, the forest was silent in its waiting. I spread out my arms wide in anticipation, like the wall I was supposed to be. Monsters of men exploded from the trees, and I grounded my feet as weapons sprang from their sides. They clenched each blade so tight I wondered if they rocked their swords to sleep at night. I knew their hatred was festered deep enough to justify such a thing. The emblems on their coats flashed blue and silver, a searing bite into my self-esteem, just as the young boy in the center, with an arrogant grin, spat, “Kindler.”

Some men laughed. Some flinched, as if it were a sin. I gritted my teeth.

“That’s right.” My eyes roamed over the flame he carried. Kindler. Me. My beautiful people. The detest on the guards’ faces seemed to glow stronger than the flame. But I would not give up. One day I would walk these woods in the sun, my lungs full of kind daylight and my soul lifted with freedom. For now, every inch of dirt on this continent belonged to them.

But the dream was mine.

The men grinned.

I took out my knife.

“See you on the other side boys.” With a smile like slicing embers, I spun around to fight.

From the prologue of an untitled novel

Eva Millay Evans ’21

Five years. It took five whole years to learn what to say. Now, after a high school meeting meant for all students but attended mostly by Asians, I say model minority. My first impression of a timid, quiet, but intelligent student followed me incessantly like a tag. Anything I was, I was because I was Asian. That was it. My description was a few stereotypical adjectives followed by my ethnicity. I was perceptive, but not because I actually worked hard. I was noiseless, but not because that was specific to me. Instead, I was smart because Asians tend to be smart, and I was quiet because Asians tend to be quiet.

From “Five Years”

Danielle Hong ’22

The time: 11:30 pm; the year: 1956; the place: Los Angeles. It was an evening like every other as the familiar bustle of tourists and the constant roaring of passing cars faded into the inconspicuous lull of nighttime. I sat in my office on East 2nd Street, gazing out the window with a half-full glass of brandy in my hand. Suddenly realizing that I hate brandy and prefer white wine, I moved to dispose of my nighttime indulgence as I placed a small cigarette in my mouth. Rifling through my desk drawer, I searched for my specially monogrammed lighter, to no avail.

“Where did I put that thing?” I muttered softly to myself.

That’s when my phone rang.

“Bondage, James Bondage. Speaking,” I uttered in my naturally low, husky, sensual bravado.

“Why hello, Mr. Bondage,” whispered a high-pitched voice on the other line. I would recognize that sweet soprano anywhere.

From An Angel in Hell, Vol. I by James Bondage

John Howley ’21

Children and teenagers should seek to learn something new about the different socioeconomic conditions and situations in their city, state, and country. We need to find ways to help spread truth through understanding and gently burst that sheltering bubble.

From “Burst the Bubble”

Madison Hua ’23

Burden (Excerpt)

With each second ticking by,

The fire blazed in and out of the steel rings.

Nearby, a loose tightrope lifted the dry air,

While an elephant cried out—

In pain or in happiness?

Meanwhile, the bundle of flames started

From the kettle inside the costume tent:

A barely held-up makeshift tetrahedron,

With flickering lights

And a thousand-year-old Wedgewood stove

That drove the boils in the kettle.

What he had not known

Was that the orange-tinted cat

Would lurk into the tent,

Knock off the kettle,

And burn itself,

All because it was looking for warmth.

It’s sad that a cat out of all animals

Had to experience a desperate need for heat,

But what happened next was even more tragic.

The fire spread from the frantic cat

To the tear-stained music score.

It reached the untucked edge of the tent,

And slowly, like a teasing lizard,

It crept up and engulfed the unsuspecting crowd.

Emily Khym ’23

I sat down at a nearby bench and tore into the box. Everything happening around me seemed to slow down, disappear. I was in the flow. It was me and the chain, the bright golden chain with eccentric woven designs. I carefully pinched the clasp open and clipped it around my neck. I felt a surge of power and made my way to a mirror to see its source. I was complete. But the satisfaction from the swagger didn’t last very long. It gave way to a jubilance of achievement and discovery. Suddenly, I yawned. As I walked out into the parking lot and saw the rising sun, reality dawned on me. Now that my mission was over, it was time to face consequences, but I had the swagger provided by my gold chain; I walked out of the Black Friday mall with a smile on my face.

From “The Gold Chain”

Brandon Kim ’23

Racism does exist socially. Racism often happens through individual feelings, ignorance, and morality. But racism also happens in our political structures that have created social inequities. If we solely focus on racism through the social aspects of an individual, we’re ignoring the structural issues that have created social inequities. We cannot talk about institutional or systemic racism while only mentioning racism as a matter of an individual's feelings or ignorance. Social inequities do not disappear through “tough conversations” and “understanding.” They disappear when we use political means to end systemic racism. I advocate that while we address the social aspect of racism, we also address the political aspect of racism.

From “¬¬Fighting Racism Through Political Means”

Nathan Ko ’23

Being Brown is a Blessing.

I am just a little brown girl

But the world sees me as something else

Like the color of my skin is a death sentence

guilty before proven innocent

That I am less than, inferior, mockery

That despite the soul underneath

my skin is simply a layer of justification

that I am nothing more than nothing

I am the little brown girl

But I wouldn’t want to be anyone but her

My skin:

is rich dark chocolate

a canvas that soaks in the sunlight

the depth of an empowering heritage

embellished with warm brown eyes and poofy hair

natural beauty in itself

My skin is something worth fighting for

I am the little brown girl

And now is my time to shine.

Kirsten Lees ’23

June 16th, 1712:

Dear diary,

It was sunny today. Karl has been feeling slightly better, but he still looks rather pale. I took a long walk today in the mountains, and I found Luke. He’s a healer who came for a plant for his medicine earlier in the day and fell while a rock landed on his leg. I helped him and told him about Karl. Luke assured him that he should be fine after around three days, and he told me to find him if Karl doesn’t get better. I think my praying worked. I pray that it worked, at least.

June 18th, 1712:

Dearest diary,

Karl is looking much better! I AM SO GRATEFUL. We are all extremely happy. He’s eating more now, and his temperature has lowered. I think I want to become a healer like Luke. I will still marry someone and everything, but I want to be the one to tell someone in confidence that their loved ones will be okay. I still don’t know how Luke knew—maybe he’s an angel—but I can only thank him. It was sunny today, and everything seemed so great. Everything seemed so bright. So glowing and promising.

From The Witch’s Son

Dora Lin ’23

Waiting (Excerpt)

Years ago, I went inside a house humbly made of earth

The house had a crestfallen and shabby quality to it

That was due to the years, no, decades of vacancy

So, in the void of laughter, running, anything

What else could the house do

But solemnly build a cover of dust and cobwebs

That way, in the future, when it was the right time

Covers could be lifted as if the weight of decades

On the house was nothing at all

Michelle Liu ’23

This trauma that I have endured has built a camp in my closet—both a permanent plague and constant companion. A majority of men do not need to check beneath their cars one time, two times, three, and lock it the moment they close the door because every system was designed for them to have at least one foot forward.

From “but the children!”

Chinelo Osakwe ’23

one simple question

One simple question:

“are you Chinese or

are you American?”

One simple question:

first thing that my

first grade teacher asked me

One simple question:

the question every relative

has for me at reunions

One simple question:

the cause for hours upon

hours of consternation

One simple question:

having to fit myself into

two mutually exclusive boxes

One simple question:

the belief that identity

is somehow bipolar

One simple question:

“the danger of

a single question”

Calvin Pan ’23

If Not a Serpent

I sink beneath the sand, my eyes peeking.

Awaiting glory or doom, a fanatic in action:

My forked tongue and writhing tail

Ready for the final test, a hunt.

Everything right under the scorching sun.

The hot wind and the searing sand

Meet dead silence: a dream come true—

A display of practice put into play

My leathery skin glides smoothly through the airless depths.

The mafia underworld, a place not for me.

My tongue itches for a lazy drink, a thrilling thought: a death wish.

The soaring guardians will catch loose criminals.

The sun is falling, another wasted afternoon.

This life is not for me…

Too weak and distracted by daydreams.

If not a serpent, what should I be?

Jenny Pan ’22

Haiku

Feathery shadows

tickle my sides, carve edges,

or simply disguise

Swarming bees nurse the

flowers that hang limply from

the sinewy trees

A Description (Excerpt)

That door was not just the entrance to the balcony or the outside. It was the entrance to the wildness that the house blocked from the rest of the world. A wildness where birds sang and screeched 24/7, where little critters crawled and fought, where tangled limbs of trees grew and cracked. And the origin of all this wildness? A swamp. A seemingly insignificant swamp. A swamp that suffocated the toothy smile of a bleached trick-or-treat basket. A swamp that swelled every other day, so it wouldn’t be forgotten. A swamp that threatened to swallow the inhabitants of the aging house.

Krishnapriya Rajaram ’21

But then she was pushed into this new home, with only a ratty welcome mat to remember her palace. She stood and sniffed, looking down in distinguished disgrace as she tried to gain her bearings despite the screaming scent of cleaning solutions and even louder shouts of her owners. Her nails clipped against the hardwood. She ventured into the kitchen only to slam her head into peeling wallpaper, leaving a shred of green sitting atop her head like a cheap tiara. She shook herself off and continued, sniffing until she collided again, this time not with a wall but instead into a just-brought-in box. Now there was no shaking off. Her shoulders lost their strut and her head tilted downwards, but no longer to sniff. Poochie’s careful clicking disappeared into the soft carpet of the welcome mat. She sat, waiting.

From “Poochie”

Amelia Rinaldi ’23

“Hey.”

I startle, drop my glass, turn towards the voice.

“Did I scare you?”

I’m on my knees, trying to snatch up the glistening shards before they slip through the honeycomb gaps in the floor. My knees ache; the metal bites. I glance up at the girl. She sits on the railing, bare feet dangling. She bounces them in time with some inaudible music. Her hands oscillate between a white-knuckled grip and a feather-light touch.

I keep grabbing at the clear shards, but I can’t be bothered to watch my hands.

I stand uneasily. I hold the glass in cupped hands out before me like an offering, unsure of what to do with it.

“You're bleeding,” she observes aloud. Her voice is deep, sleep-doused.

I can’t look away from her, her dark eyes. It’s thrilling, terrifying. “Am I?”

From an untitled story

Isabel Ruppel ’21

When I first learned how to sing and chase the shadows away, I was scared of what I could do. Everyone was followed around by shadows. Some people swore that the government, Shadow Corp, was responsible. Others assumed that the shadows had always been there, but that Shadow Corp had made them worse. I was never sure which, because the shadows had always existed. Ever since I was born, a heavy shadow had followed me around, weighing me down, tearing me down into nothing and making me into nothing but a shadow myself.

The weight of the music gave me something to hold on to when I felt alone and empty, the big boldness of it filled the empty space in my chest that the shadow carved out over years of constant damage. More than anything, this record gave me relief. Despite everything, everyone was expected to be happy, or at least put on a happy face to mask all the pain we were all experiencing. It was practically forbidden to talk about the pain the shadows caused: we were supposed to love and rely on them.

From “Sunsets Are For Shadow Hunting”

Zoe Santilli ’23

Hollywood (Excerpt)

She lives in a dreamscape

Glowing pearls and pendants

It’s golden and expensive

Beautifully old-fashioned

In a vintage car

Whizzing down

The Pacific Coast Highway

Behind retro sunglasses

Smiling with her eyes

Dancing in the rain

Prancing down the boulevard

In thousand dollar heels

It's pouring

Raindrops bounce off

The statue of a town hero

And flood down

Along the cracking concrete

The headlights from a rickety car

Violently glare in the puddles

That her heels slash through

The water isn’t added in post-production

It’s stinging her ankles

As she flees her pride

A bitter pill serving as a constant reminder

That she never grew up

So she doesn’t know how to swallow one

Hayley Scherer ’23

My brother snapped his fingers in front of my face. I sprang to attention, realizing that I had just zoned out. Mom was saying, “And so, we’ve decided to present this antique mirror as your eighteenth birthday gift! Oh, I still remember that day when I received this heirloom on my birthday… my dear, it has been decades!” She must’ve been talking for quite a long time, so I replied with a nod and accepted the box solemnly.

From “A Decade’s Worth of Regret”

Helen Shen ’23

Stella (Excerpt)

God damn the stars,

all of them.

They’re not in the sky.

They're not even way up high,

just far away.

And they can stay out there,

in the cold,

for all I care.

I’m tired

of their twinkling,

sparkling whatever.

WFU (Excerpt)

Lightning cracks.

Thunder laughs.

Rain dances till it jiggles loose,

drops hellbent, scattering

dusty dirt devils

leaping into puddles

of toiling, troubling mud.

Spot spattered sidewalks,

soak deeper, till their fading dapple

overlaps to a solid grey

darker than the gray of the sky.

John Sihn ’22

Frenzy on the Yellow Brick Road (Excerpt)

You're off to see the wizard, the Wonderful Wizard of Oz!

Claps of thunder replace the moonlit

slit in the sky. Slashing and scarring

wounds of electricity tear the night

apart to fractured fragments and, responding is

the lion, his cowardly mane a majestic shielding shadow

to his braver companions

Time follows them, in warped polygons as they hunt

the fixed yellow path for gold,

Dipped in Oz Magic and Medicine!

Amy Song ’23

Grandma was wrong about wings. She was right that some people have majestic wings, others have graceful ones, and those less fortunate have broken feathers—but she was wrong that broken wings can never be mended. With the help of others, and with time, even the most damaged can be healed.

Remember your bird?

Tonight, she flew out of my hands and towards the moon—perhaps in search of you.

From “Wings”

Eric Sun ’23

I realized I had never experienced a large scale change I didn't personally sign up for. When I moved rooms each year, flew across continents every three months, and changed schools every four years, these scheduled changes were done on my own terms. However, when the unexpected occurs and humans enter their panic mode, actions become less predictable and impulse joins the equation. As I experienced this utterly unforeseen move, my fears kicked in and the comfort of the expected faded away, blocking the adventurer inside me in favor of that homesick, panicked teen away from home.

From Quarantine Tales

Matthew Weng ’21

Stranded

The engine violently sputters and the airplane spirals downward. The ground is coming closer and closer. You crash in the Sahara Desert. You tumble out of the airplane, unharmed. The airplane is not as lucky. The broken propellers are lodged in the sand, and the wing is smashed. Your supplies are destroyed, stranding you with very little food or water. The desert is arid and barren of any life. Rolling mountains of sand surround you. The harsh sunlight and blistering heat make you wish that there was some shade, but there is none. You don’t know what to do. You are alone.

You look into the distance and see something. You think it’s a mirage. Disoriented and bewildered, you close your eyes. When you open them, it’s still there. Approaching you.

Ella Xue ’23

CrossWalk

to stand on the diving board

of seventeen

and see a sea of vulnerabilities

parading around in their masks of adulthood

not wanting to address what’s

underneath

tiptoeing

teetering

on the edge of the sidewalk

not yet wanting to grow up

watching the glowing numbers in the box count down

the seconds of your life

before you have to cross the river

Styx

You’re on the other side, me.

You’re on the other side of these mismatched

lines resembling a zebra.

“It used to be a game,” I tell you.

“A barcode,

where we could redeem our wings that we used to bounce from

block to block

to block to

block.

We told ourselves we could fly and we did.”

“Does the crosswalk have white lines? I can’t seem to remember,” you reply.

“I cross the bridge by drowning in the empty spaces.”

The weary emptiness under your eyes meets mine

and you let your shoulders sink into oblivion, defeated.

Your mouth contorts to form the words, your tired breath escaping to say what is pitifully inevitable:

“We are no longer children.”

Stephanie Zhang ’21

Insomnia #31, 7/24/20, 4:32am

i want to dip my hands in cold moonlight. i will let it run over skin, down my neck and arms and meaty thighs, and i will shimmer in the moonlight. i touch my toes out in front of me, walking slowly across the soft grass, and the moonshine catches in my foot. each toe sparkles in the light like a gem buried under the dirt. i am cold on a summer night because the breeze keeps blowing my dress back, like a thousand small fingers running their grabby hands alongside the white fabric. it’s okay though, because they spin it around me and i have lost myself to the light touch. i am just a piece of this moment because i am connected with the world tonight and the breath i breathe is the same as the night bunnies’ and the snakes’ and the sleepers’. let the dark sky drip down around us all because i have the moon.

Olivia Zoga ’21

The sun sits idle against backlit Beijing—Anna’s guessing—she sees nothing in the sky through the smog, lolling opaque and gray. Heat trickles from the sidewalks like strands of cheongsam silk, and her mother’s plastic fan whirs. Here, childhood smells of baked rain and crackling oiled street food and exhaust. Her sister Mila leans her head out of the taxi as it jolts over a pothole.

Anna’s father would never admit it, but China barely singes the edges of his mind. When he was a boy living north of the Yellow River, his name was Mingwei, but it became Mike when he gave in to the soothsayer’s promise. Mike likes to believe that he left ochre mud for gilt, likes to believe the American dream, but America makes his wife cry.

From “To Be Red”

Jamie Zou ’23

We would like to thank all of the artists for their hard work and talent. We are proud to share their work with you all and look forward to showcasing even more talent in the future.

Emerging Artist and Writers Showcase

Fall 2020

Credits:

Photography by Jessica Ravenelle