Glastonbury High School Art Show focuses on design

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Fri., Jun. 7, 2013
Senior Mia Molloy stands with her display of highly-detailed works at the GHS Student Art Show on June 4. Photos by Steve Smith.
Senior Mia Molloy stands with her display of highly-detailed works at the GHS Student Art Show on June 4. Photos by Steve Smith.

Glastonbury High School’s Student Art Show perennially turns part of the second floor of the school into an art museum. At this year’s show on June 4, teacher Dan Roach said the students are now showing more focus on the overall design of their works. While the students have always shown talent at drawing, painting or sculpting, they have demonstrated a better understanding and implementation of a given piece’s presentation.

“There is now more diversity to our curriculum as we incorporate more design,” Roach said. “We expect that with all of the classes, whether it’s computer animation class, design class or crafts class, that we will see more emphasis on design. It’s about how the piece is organized, and about how the artist uses what are known as the principles of design to create a work of art that expresses his or her idea more effectively.”

Rachel Adams created a series with the theme of how nature destroys human constructs. “The idea started with nature and humans interacting in a friendly way,” Adams said. “Then I decided to change it to how nature is destroying humanity.”

One piece by Adams began as a vine holding hands with a human hand, but morphed into a hand being suffocated by the vine. She has also begun creating works using pointillism, which is creating a piece using only colored dots (similar to pixels).

Adams will be attending the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in the fall, and said that while she hasn’t decided on her future career yet, she hopes to always include art. Adams’s body of work also earned her an award from the Glastonbury Art Guild, and she said she was thrilled with the honor. “I was excited,” she said.

Sarah Thoresen said her idea was to insert images of animals into what would normally be human portraits, making puns, such as “cool cat.”

“I wanted to do something funny,” she said. “I didn’t want to do something serious, because I wanted people to come in [to the show] and smile. So, thought I did it pretty well.”

Kelsey Finn’s concentration focused on parts of the human body done in watercolors, which was a challenge, as she was used to primarily doing pencil drawings. “I wanted to push myself further and try something new,” Finn said, adding that for one piece, she had to recreate a self-portrait three times using a technique where she painted each one color and then “lifted out” color to get lighter shades. “I like the way it turned out,” she said.

Mia Molloy’s highly-detailed, other-worldly characters drew a lot of attention. “I love the fine markers and being able to just go to town,” she said. “I love filling the negative space with something, and I like when people get so close to my work. I want people to see the time that I put into it.”

Molloy describes her figures as fairy tale creatures with “real life” problems. “It was sort of like a dark spin on that,” she said. “That’s where I went with it. It’s my style that I’ve had for a long time, and this is sort of a new expression of it.”

“My theme was that I wanted to make beach scenes of the sky and the water, but I wanted to put one [foreground] object in each of them,” said senior Michelle Woodhouse, about her colorful sunset-scapes. “I liked the colors and wanted them to be something calming to look at.”

“We also have more activities that relate to graphic design, industrial design and computer art design. We’re seeing more variety and instead of there being a focus on traditional art, we’re seeing a shift away from that,” Roach said, adding that the focus now leans toward how the design of a piece expresses the idea, rather than simply how an artist’s mastery of the medium expresses what it means to say.

“The criteria people used to use is how effective is it in terms of its aesthetics,” he said. “It’s not about that anymore. It’s how effective is the idea being expressed, and does the design and organization of it suit the ideas?”

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