The Garden of Art: Mt. Lebanon High School Annual Art Show a terrarium-themed feast for the senses |


Jennifer Rodriguez’s colorful, fascinating art space filled with plush chairs depicting is effective by Van Gogh, muraled walls and tables scattered with artwork provides occupies two tales inside Mt. Lebanon College District’s expansive higher school.

If the area is any indicator, this year’s once-a-year art clearly show is likely to be a feast for the senses. 

“This is kind of like our comeback,” explained Rodriguez, who has taught highly developed placement art at the high school for almost six a long time. “Previous yr, we had a modified art demonstrate with restricted tickets and time slots. It was extremely modest as opposed to what we’re used to. The yr in advance of, we experienced a digital art clearly show. This variety of artwork demonstrate at the scale we are hoping to obtain, it presents individuals hope. It can be kind of like a glimpse into returning back to a far more typical existence.”

The display – much more artwork gala than substantial university art display – begins at 7 p.m. Friday, April 29, at the high school’s C20 entrance. Attendees enter the lobby, which Rodriguez and her pupils have transformed into a beautiful terrarium the place ceramics and other artworks sprout up amongst a landscape of succulents and plants.

Comforting h2o seems hum beneath the music of a live pianist, which entices visitors upstairs, to the center court docket, wherever extra than 700 items of artwork suit for the Carnegie Museum stand grandly on the shiny picket floor or hang proudly versus black felt backdrops.

“We are back in a huge way,” Rodriguez mentioned with smile.

And her students are eager to showcase their parts. The juniors and seniors in Rodriguez’s AP Art course have been dreaming of this demonstrate given that they were being young.

“All of us have been hunting ahead to this because we had been in middle college,” said senior Svetlana Epperson, motioning to four other seniors sitting around her on a modern weekday. 

20-5 AP Art college students put in this college year discovering themes of their choosing as a result of many media, like acrylic on chipboard, ink on paper and gouache (a thick, drinking water-medium paint) on paper. Lizze Roman, a senior whose function explores folklore and fairytales, explained her most significant piece took 21 hours to finish, and most learners put in an typical of 10 hours on every single artwork.

They completed one particular artwork every single 7 days of this university yr. Each and every AP artist will display screen 20 items in this year’s display. 

“The last typical artwork display, in 2019, we were being freshmen when that took place,” reported Ellie Farbman, a senior who aims to surprise audiences with her peaceful, surrealist even now-daily life paintings. “It feels like type of a life time ago. We all in all probability experienced two or a few things in it. This 12 months, it can be additional concentrated all around us. We acquired to see the AP young children when we have been freshmen possessing their show. It’s just really enjoyable.”

Exciting, much too, is the expertise and assortment of these college students. The operates of senior Annie Du and junior Nick Herring explore the intersection of audio and fine art. Epperson provides graphic style and design to life on canvas by way of daring, patterned acrylic paints. Josie Simpson, a junior, has put in the year diving into mythology, faith and natural decay, and Madelyn Yaremcho’s get the job done focuses on femininity. 

“I have struggled a great deal with currently being a lot less feminine than other individuals I’ve been around just simply because I’m taller. Drawing other girls that usually are not tremendous-conventionally attractive has genuinely served me,” mentioned Yaremcho, who before this calendar year switched from gouache portray to pop artwork-style posca pen pieces.

The alter in medium has specified Yaremcho freedom to produce bolder, brighter pictures – a shift that reflects a change in frame of mind.

“I think I just variety of received more satisfied with everything in existence and I was like, ‘More coloration!'” she stated.

Rodriguez stated final calendar year, her students’ artwork was darker, a reflection of residing as a result of a pandemic and struggling to return to normalcy. This 12 months, the function is vibrant, and even the black-and-white ink on paper pieces by junior Seiya Iyobe are emotive.

“(I’m exploring) if manga can be elevated into a fine art stage,” said Iyobe, who joked he’s been drawing considering the fact that his hand could wrap all over a pencil. “I really like (manga) due to the fact I lived in Japan till fifth quality. I’m carrying out kind of a graphic novel factor. I’m creating it in Japanese figures, like the speech bubbles. I am producing an enlarged variation of a manga.”

Whilst Iyobe provides Japanese society to Mt. Lebanon, senior Ella Slagle will show a slice of local existence through her paintings, which mix her passion for mother nature and artwork. 

“My problem was about the human romance with vegetation and plant lifestyle vs. human constructions,” she claimed, noting 1 of her favored is effective is a painting centered off her have photograph of the Mt. Lebanon Farmers Market place. “I really like currently being in mother nature. I love climbing. I desired to link my enjoy for vegetation with how humans you should not even recognize how much vegetation impression us and how a lot we influence them.”

In addition to the will work by AP learners, the annual artwork demonstrate showcases items by learners at all stages. Graphite portraits, experiments of stained glass and painted cellos are among the the operates show attendees will appreciate.

“We showcase all talents,” mentioned Rodriguez. “The pandemic was created to drain creativity, but now we are back again and they have really accomplished it. They are gifted. I am pretty proud of them.”

The pupils are wanting ahead to sharing their art with family members and friends, and hope the group arrives out for an evening of new music, art work and dialogue. 

“Art is the wonderful unifier. It brings people together. It really is the pulse of a community,” reported Rodriguez. “Effectively, the night time is a celebration of neighborhood. It truly is a celebration of creativity, and it’s a celebration of achievement for the artists who operate so tough.

“When you share your art, you’re very susceptible, uncovered,” Rodriguez explained. “You happen to be sharing your abilities, you happen to be sharing your ideas, your inner thoughts by your artwork. For them to come jointly and show this to the community … it truly is rather amazing.”

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