On March 14th and 16th, BSGE seniors had a chance to display their 2 years of hard work on the walls of the nearby Aurora Gallery for parents, friends, and teachers to admire. This year’s IB art show was especially groundbreaking, because it was the first year that two art exhibitions were arranged, instead of one. This was partially due to the size of the Class of 2016, as well as new IB requirements for more art to be displayed. Half the grade presented their work on Monday while the other half did so on Wednesday. The exhibition counted as a large part of the Internal Assessment for the IB Art exam. “Because of the new IB Visual Arts exam criteria, these two exhibitions were the largest BSGE has ever hosted, and were the most ambitious,” stated Ms. Schwarz. For many twelfth graders such as Inarra Sorathiya ’16, the art show was rewarding. She said it was strange but gratifying to see all her artworks together and after she had worked hard preparing her pieces for months. While personal satisfaction was one fulfilling factor, having others there to admire the students work was also very validating. Khadija Zulfiqar ’16 enjoyed having her work on display for her parents to see. Gabriel Steinberg ’16 felt a highlight was having friends from other schools come in and see that he “actually does work.”
The twelfth graders were completely justified in feeling proud of their artwork, as so much time and effort were required. Ms. Schwarz explained the whole process. “The exhibition is a required part of the IB Visual Arts exam, and counts for 40% of the final grade. Each student selected their artworks to exhibit from at least three different art-making forms (such as drawing, painting, sculpture, and photography). Each student wrote a 700 word Curatorial Rationale, which is a written explanation of their ideas, thematic concerns, art-making process, and clarification of how they will arrange the artwork in the gallery, and why this is important for the viewers to understand the work. Additionally, each student wrote their exhibition label text for each artwork, stating the artistic intentions, as well as the title, medium, and date completed.” By the end of this journey, each IB candidate had eight to eleven artworks on display. Each piece took six to ten hours of hard work to complete, and sometimes even more. Ms. Schwarz remarked, “I believe that this year’s exhibitions were wildly successful, with many well developed and thought-provoking artworks to examine.”
Some of these thought-provoking artworks included the recurring theme of feminism. Some of the artworks that were found under this theme illustrated the world’s obsession with beauty, and women’s rights. Other issues like inequality in social structure and politics were also explored; Ms. Schwarz felt that many of the artworks were about “analyzing the inconsistencies we feel.” Still other creations had to do with war and military presence in other countries. Khadija Zulfiqar’s art was about the transition from childhood to adulthood, and Gabriel Steinberg created art that displays unusual perspectives on everyday events. Ms. Schwarz explained that every IB candidate prepared their artworks in a professional manner, by measuring and cutting black mats (like frames). However, some students, like Gabriel, albeit proud of their work, had hoped to put in more time to garner more professional-looking art.
For the seniors, one other gratifying part of the IB art show was the chance to sell artworks in an auction book at the front of the gallery. Many pieces were purchased by school faculty, parents, and peers, ranging in price from five to two hundred dollars. Inarra Sorathiya’s charcoal drawing of an anatomically correct heart went for thirty dollars.
The IB Art Show had an incredible turnout despite its short run, and gave the BSGE community a chance to applaud the commitment and artistic ability of the twelfth graders. Inarra captured what many seniors felt afterward as she reflected on the process. “It’s weird, because you work on it for two years, but it isn’t until you see it all together that you’re like ‘Wow. I did this.'”