Senior Art Seminar opens hybrid gallery show

The Senior Art Seminar Show is now on full display. Paintings, sculptures, and even a pair of shoes are a few of the works you can expect to find in the show. The exhibit can now be viewed both virtually and in-person in the Harry M. Drake gallery near the Davern entrance.

This yearly tradition is a presentation of work from the Senior Art Seminar class, a selective art class for seniors who have shown passion and aptitude for the arts throughout their time in the Upper School. Each year, the show centers around a different theme. This year, the show is entitled The Observer Effect.

Upper School photography teacher Stefanie Motta is a teacher for the Senior Art Seminar and shared the official vision for what The Observer Effect is:

The Observer Effect is the phenomenon in which a system changes simply because it is being observed. This year of isolation has allowed us to be selective with what we present and to curate the images that pass through our windows to the outside. As we begin to bring down the barriers between ourselves and the world, how will the gaze of others distort or bring into focus our sense of self?

The Seminar students also contributed work to a different virtual exhibition that can be viewed anywhere. The virtual exhibition has a different theme and name. Entitled Atmospheric Pressure, it is a showcase of growth and change over the year.

Motta elaborated on the inspiration behind the virtual exhibition: “Atmospheric Pressure is a snapshot of our growth throughout this semester. Atmospheres are environments shared and personal, metaphorical and literal, and distinctly unique to each of us,” she said. “The art we make is our lens with which we analyze these experiences.”

Senior Lucia Granja was a participant in the seminar this year and relished the experience of being able to produce work for a formal gallery show. Her work involved painting a motorcycle helmet, a pair of shoes, and jeans.

“My work focuses on the way we look at the future, and the way people in the past looked at the present. I was inspired by the 1988 movie Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo,” Granja said. “I painted wearable pieces with images and ideas from the movie in order to express my own cautiously optimistic view of the future and present.”

Granja also expressed her enthusiasm for the overarching theme of the show. “The show is dope because it’s based around the idea of the observer effect which is a physics concept of a system changing,” she said. “All of our pieces have something to do with how we see the world, or how the world sees us.”

Students are encouraged to take a look at the seniors’ work in the Drake gallery. Both the virtual and the physical exhibition will be viewable through Jun. 6.