by Ms. Schwarz Uncategorized

Four BSGE Students’ Works on Display at Queens Borough Arts Festival

FINAL_BAF_Flyer%20Subway%20MUSEUM%20THEATRE%20%28774x1024%29As of yesterday, May 11, 2016 the Queens Museum is exhibiting artwork by K – 12 Queens public school students, as part of the Queens Borough Arts Festival. We are proud to have four BSGE students exhibiting artwork. This is juried exhibition so not all the artwork that is submitted is chosen to be displayed.Two 10th grade students, Annika Cheng and Nadja Martinovic, each exhibited self portrait charcoal drawings, submitted for the exhibit by Mr. Sheridan. Two seniors, Rakia Islam and Isabelle Lee, exhibited assemblage artworks that made use of found objects. The opening reception that took place last night included performances by students at Jamaica Gateway to the Sciences High School, Forest Hills High School, and PS 16 The Nancy DeBenedittis School and PS 115 James J. Ambrose School. This was the second annual arts festival, in which each teacher was invited to submit two artworks each.

The exhibition is open through Sunday, May 15 at the Queens Museum, which is open from 11am – 5pm Wednesday – Sunday (closed Monday and Tuesday). We hope that you can visit the exhibition. Congratulations to Annika, Nadja, Rakia, and Isabelle. (photo credits: Cecelia Cheng)

by Maya J '16

BSGE Receives Its First 7 in IB Art!

"ghost in your garden" by Adela Goldsmith '15 (Acrylic on Color Film, Feb 2015). See the rest of Adela's work at
“ghost in your garden” by Adela Goldsmith ’15 (Acrylic on Color Film, Feb 2015). See the rest of Adela’s work at

Smith College is filled with many bright young women pursuing art, but BSGE alum Adela Goldsmith ’15 can proudly say that she is one of the few who have earned a 7 in IB Higher Level Visual Arts – and not just any 7. Adela is the first BSGE student to receive a 7 in what many juniors and seniors believe is the most challenging IB course offered at our school.

Adela, whose work features a mix of dark imagery (run-down houses, severed hands, and tombstones) and bright, eye-catching colors, said that it was “cool” to get BSGE’s first 7, although the college credit she received for it is not stopping her from “taking a bunch of art classes anyway.” When asked about the general theme for her body of work, Adela explained that she focused on “decay (very broadly), but also how it relates to the human experience, and the relationship between the natural and the man-made.” She intends to stay involved in art through college, with a potential major in Art History and a Museums Concentration; “possibly careers in curating or museum education,” she said.

by Daleelah S '19

BSGE Hosts Visiting Artists Maymanah Farhat and Athir Shayota

IMG_1632The BSGE Art Department often hosts visiting artists who can share their ideas and work with students of all grades, and on Thursday, October 29, Maymanah Farhat and Athir Shayota visited our school. Maymanah is a writer and art historian as well as a curator, while Athir is a painter. Both are long-time friends of Ms. Gretchen Schwarz, who met them while working as a security guard at the Met several years ago.

Athir spoke first, discussing several celebrated paintings/artworks from over the years. A few artists he mentioned were Cezanne, Picasso, and Van Gogh. At the tender age of 19, Athir created a portrait of his father in homage to Van Gogh, imitating the flowers and cut-up body that he was known for. He also showed us a family tree he created using Eastern and Western motifs. Athir is Iraqi, and he visited his home country after the war. He painted a butcher shop with a butcher inside, the sadness on his face clearly visible. He mentioned that Iraq has such a negative image in the media, but that’s not to be believed. Other paintings he showed us were a self-portrait, a still life of “flowers of hope,” a painting of Maymanah (his wife), and a portrait with a shadow, similar to a painting by another artist who covered the subject of the painting with a veil.

by Ms. Schwarz

Two Senior Students’ Artwork to be Featured in Queens Borough Arts Festival

Grace Camia, Institutional Abuse, acrylic on masonite, 2014
Grace Camia, Institutional Abuse, acrylic on masonite, 2014

Grace Camia and Gavriela Carver, 12th grade, have artwork selected for the first annual Queens Borough Arts Festival. All Queens NYC public school art teachers were asked to submit two artworks each to be considered, and Grace and Gaby’s work was selected by the jurors.

This new arts exhibition is organized in part due to the recent NYC DOE initiative to re-vitalize art education in our schools. Mayor de Blasio and Carmen Farina have channeled funds and programming into the schools to implement new opportunities for students. The Queens Borough Arts Director, Janet Velazquez Cela, did attend our 2015 Senior IB Art Exhibition, and at that time noticed many of BSGE’s talented art students’ work.

Their work will be a part of our visual arts exhibition from June 10-June 19th at Queens Theatre in the Park. In addition, we are hosting an opening reception to celebrate the artists and student performers on Friday, June 12th from 5:30-8:00pm.

Gavriela Carver, Inked, mixed media sculpture, 2014
Gavriela Carver, Inked, mixed media sculpture, 2014

by Alexandra C '19

Recap of Seniors IB Art Exhibition

On Wednesday, March 25th, sixty-five BSGE seniors each showcased five artworks they created as part of the IB Visual Arts program. This took place at the Aurora Gallery, less than 3 blocks from school. The exhibition took around a year and a half to complete, for seniors had to produce a minimum of 12 artworks for their IB Art submission. In the start of their junior year, each student chose their own personal theme for their artworks, which ranged from beauty, nature, social class, emotion and more. Each senior chose five pieces of art that they felt communicated their theme best. Everyone was welcome to attend the art show, and make bids on possible artworks they would like to take home.

PC: Alexandra Calpo
PC: Alexandra Calpo
by BACC Rag staff

Pictures from the Senior Art Show 2015

Click on any image to view the gallery.

Steve G '14

9th Graders Get Artsy

On January 20th, BSGE IB Art teacher Ms.Schwarz and the entire 9th grade went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the largest museum in the Western Hemisphere. According to Ms.Schwarz, this is her third year going to the museum with BSGE students.



Ms.Schwarz wanted to have this trip because she thought it would be a great learning experience for the students. Ms.Schwarz said, “I think it’s important for students to have the experience of looking at artworks up close and not just study them.” She also added, “It’s a very different experience studying from a computer screen or book than up close.”


Throughout the months prior, the freshmen had been learning about ancient Egyptians and how they created their tombs. The students had a project of creating unique designs using relief carvings to imitate the ancient Egyptians’ carvings. For those unfamiliar with relief carvings, this technique makes certain images three dimensional on a surface. 

by Annie C '18

Themes Behind BSGE Seniors’ IB Artworks

Name: Nicholas Tan

Year of Graduation: 2015

Date of Completion: Sept 2, 2014

Title of the Artwork: Disintegration


1) What is this piece depicting? What was your inspiration?

My artwork is a sculpture comprised of two parts. The first section depicts a human skeleton on bare

soil, having its bones chomped apart by a series of three centipedes. The longest of the trio has a man-

like head. Behind the skeleton’s skull lies the second portion, which consists of a looming vulture

standing in a nest of overflowing flora. I came to this bizarre idea by linking human concepts to

animalistic, disgusting imagery. Being that my IB Art theme is “The

by Ashley W '16

Visiting Artist: Catherine Tafur

On Wednesday, December 10th, the art studio was filled with eager juniors and seniors partaking in BSGE’s first Visiting Artist event of the year. Ms. Schwarz arranged for her friend, Catherine Tafur, to present her work, inspiration, and process to the IB art students. Tafur’s presentation included seven paintings from her current exhibition at the Porter Contemporary Art Gallery: The Assassination of Osama Bin Laden, Hillary Rodham, Revolution, Rana Plaza in Savar: Death of a Thousand Workers, American Disco, The Bucket, and Drone War. These pieces addressed social issues such as feminism, the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, and the 2013 Savar building collapse. Although many of her pieces are based on current political issues, she described her inspiration as “whatever keeps me up at night, things that I want to understand.” Tafur’s work is very surreal; it is made up of various patterns, shapes, and vivid colors that “pop” in your face. Every single aspect of her pieces is symbolic, each holding a significant meaning that adds to the overall effect.


by Hana M '18

Why Is It So Hard To Get a 7 in IB Art?

Going into the IB Middle Years Program is very stressful for BSGE students, especially knowing how hard it is to get a 7 in many classes. Classes only get harder as the years go on and it frightens many students that no one has ever gotten a 7 in Higher Level (HL) IB Art. Only the hardest-working students receive 6s in the class. IB Art is a college course that BSGE offers in high school and not many people are naturally capable of completing a college-level art class. Even those who are talented in the field of art can find it challenging, since a lot of writing and research is involved in the class. “It’s all about figuring out what you want to make art about, which is a very difficult question to ask yourself,” Ms. Schwarz explained. One of the many reasons why attaining a 7 is so difficult is because the change in the class structure can be overwhelming. The art classes that taken before IB Art are preparations for the class. In IB Art, you have limitations and guidelines but no

by Ana M '14

BSGE Seniors Display Work at IB Art Exhibition

Photo Credits: Ms. Jennifer Dikes

On Tuesday, March 18, BSGE seniors exhibited selected artworks they had created as part of the IB Visual Arts program at the Aurora Gallery less than three blocks from the school. The show marked the second year of BSGE displaying their work at the gallery, a shift from the library exhibits of past years. The exhibition was a year and a half in the making for the senior class, who had first chosen their exhibition theme at the start of Junior year. Each senior chose five artworks that they felt best communicated their themes to display at the show. Friends and family were invited to enjoy the show and bid on any works that they wanted to buy. This was also the first year in which students were able to keep 100% of the profit made from selling their art.

Although creating the artwork took a year and a half, the exhibition process was very hectic, fast-paced and occurred in the span of two days. The seniors missed first period on both Monday and Wednesday to hang up their work and take it down, respectively. Lina Rahmani, ’14, says, “It was pretty crazy getting there, but overall I was proud to be a part of it and the way it turned out.  I was very impressed with the end product.”

Lauren Ouaknine, ‘14, says that one great thing about the show this

by Alice A '18

7th Grades go to Noguchi Museum and Socrates Park

Noguchi On May 3, Stream 7-2 went to the Socrates Sculpture Park and the Noguchi Museum as part of their Creative Writing elective. In class, students were taught how to make sculptures with various media including clay, wire, construction paper, among others, to connect to their personal narratives that the students wrote in class. The group made its way to Long Island City to view the exhibitions accompanied by Peter Wilson and Ms. Kumar before it became open to the public. At the museum, the class met with its sculpting instructor, Jory, who is a resident artist at the Socrates Sculpture Park. The class was given a tour lead by a tour guide.

The seventh graders were shown pieces of art in the museum in a way that was more liberated than