Review: Student-selected art show

Sidonie Brown, Staff Writer

Danish-French Impressionist Camille Pissarro once said, “Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.”

This quote decorates the starry background of Brookline sophomore Ourie Ophir Azoulay’s painting, which is a recreation of Pissarro’s own Boulevard Montmartre; Night Effect. This elegant piece hangs alongside the work of over 100 students in the student-selected art gallery in the Unified Arts Building. The show highlights the immense talent of artists of all different levels that have managed to find beauty in these humble places.

Students from any visual art class (and some career and technology classes) were allowed to choose whether or not they wanted to be a part of the gallery and which piece to put in it.

At the gallery, the sheer amount of artwork, and the range of mediums, is impressive. Shelves of intricate jewelry, along with walls of colorful paintings, drawings and more are all featured on the first floor of the UA building. Once past the landing of the staircase, which highlights over 50 charcoal portraits, the second floor displays work from photography classes and offers a viewing space for short films.

Even more remarkable is the high quality of work from students with varying degrees experience. Pieces from more than five classes, ranging from Drawing I to Advanced Placement Studio Art, are featured together on one wall. One would think that this would result in a strange clash of abilities, with more advanced artists overshadowing those newer to the skill. Instead, the variation manages to create a refreshing cohesion and balance.

At times, the differing levels are barely even noticeable, which can be seen in a piece by sophomore Hannah Ernst, from Drawing I. Ernst’s portrait of her little sister catches the eye with a brightly lit, hopeful face framed by a flowered braid.

Another standout piece comes from senior Vandy George. In a whimsical feat of imagination, George’s watercolor captures the boundless curiosity of a young girl as she stares up at the moon right outside of her bedroom window. With sheep milling about the room (perhaps signifying a dream or sleep that hasn’t come), space posters on the walls and a clock that reads midnight, the details are what completes the painting.

In other forms of artistic expression, some students combine beauty and practicality. Junior Kat Karaminas displays ceramic bowls with splendidly-speckled earth tones, and sophomore Elena Perini showcases a delicate necklace with pleasing tear-drop shaped pendants. Sitting on a pedestal right near the entrance, sophomore Saya Ameli’s lamp glows beneath a wooden shade, illuminating the intricately carved base.

And finally, on perhaps the most powerful wall of the exhibition, a cluster of photographs hangs. From towering architecture to the point-of-view of an ant, every picture offers a unique perspective. Sophomore Zoe Barron catches you in an eerie staring contest with a gorilla, and freshman Amina Irizarry-Nones challenges you to make eye contact with a solemn protester from the recent walk-out. While each photograph could stand alone, it is the unity in the arrangement that speaks so powerfully.

With so many students and classes showcased, the student-selected art show has managed to thoroughly represent the vast creative community and talent at the high school. Each artist must be applauded, not only for having found beauty in humble places, but for having accomplished the even harder task of communicating this splendor to others.