As storm clouds gathered on the evening of Tuesday, May 15, art lovers assembled on the fourth floor to appreciate works of the high school’s visual artists. But this was not just art for art’s sake: all proceeds from the admission fee and some from the sale of works went to Rosie’s Place, a women’s shelter in Boston.
The event showcased the remarkable ability of the student community to put its creative energy to good use. It would not have succeeded without the initiative and planning of the students involved.
School Within a School English teacher Keira Flynn-Carson, who has served as the faculty sponsor for the show for the past several years, continues to be impressed with the student contributions.
“The last few years, I’ve just been blown away by how talented my students are. I know what they can do in English class, and then I see what they do in other corners of their life and it’s just amazing,” Flynn-Carson said.
The atmosphere was cool (partly because of the rain so it was cold, and partly in the aloof sense). It felt like a museum, except for the fact that some students brought their musical instruments, and Flynn-Carson was selling chocolate chip cookies.
“There is music, it’s got dim lights making it feel like an art opening and we take over all the chalkboards, and people can show their art,” Flynn-Carson said.
One display that was particularly compelling was a collection of watercolor paintings of women with somber but sharp expressions by Helen Ives.
In one, a woman in black is tying up her hair while seemingly staring directly into the eyes of the viewer. I liked the collection because the figures looked intense and dark, yet each one was distinguished and unique from all the others.
Another intriguing work was a print by junior Basya Klein. It looks like a smokey cluster of swirls in intense, crimson colors. Klein designed it in a printmaking one class at the high school, and it was awarded a Scholastic Silver Key prize. I find it impressive that meaningful art like this can be produced at a simple class in the high school.
Every year, the proceeds from the art show are donated to a different organization, and this year’s beneficiary, Rosie’s Place, can be expected to make good use of the funds raised. Founded in 1974, Rosie’s Place was the first women’s shelter in the United States. Rosie’s Place includes an education center that provides 375 women per semester with the opportunity to take classes and improve a skill.
The crowd appeared happy with the art and the cause. This was an opportunity for students to contribute to a nurturing community and a charity. There are few better places to enjoy a cookie on a rainy Tuesday night.