Throughout the COVID era, art classes have continued to expand their realm of expression through their end-of-semester creative endeavors.
To start the new semester, Mr. Tahan’s senior inquiry class will be constructing canoes in the gallery and boat room. The woodworking class finished the semester with a kite project. Students designed and built kites individually, testing them out in the athletic fields on their last day of class. Grant Litchfield ’21 and Adam Alto ’21 are continuing their work in the woodshop for their independent study with Mr. Simpson. The seniors have also begun carving their panels, generating ideas and images throughout the fall. Once the images are finalized, they begin transferring the pictures onto the wood; carving demonstrations and initial student carving ensue. The seniors are currently still working on their panels, which will be on display around campus by the end of the school year.
The ceramics class created bobbleheads and continued their work on the pottery wheel to end the semester. Their creations are displayed throughout the Melvoin Academic Center.
The photography classes have further expanded and developed their skills digitally through broadening their work conceptually. They continue to critique each other’s work to improve their skills of photography interpretation and analysis. Photo 1 has transitioned from working in the darkroom to a digital workflow. They have been using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop for post-production. The Advanced Photography class culminated with students perfecting their personalized, hand-stitched photo books. Digital Video has continued creating and viewing films, and the class is largely unaffected by the pandemic. The students have been introduced to seminal directors such as Stanley Kubrick and Robert Bresson; they also have studied the more contemporary work of Wes Anderson and Paul Thomas Anderson. Through in-class critiquing and the use of several videographic techniques, the students continue to perfect their skills and expand their creative and conceptual boundaries.
The theatre program has been creating a short screenplay, written by Will Achtmeyer ’26. Jeremy Eaton ’23 and Daniel Rashes ’22 have also been working on their monologues that will be filmed and shared with the Belmont Hill community soon.
Several students were recognized by the Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards for their work. Nate Voss ’24 and James Mullowney ’24 won a Gold Key and a Silver Key, respectively, in Ceramics. Cord Vallis ’24 also won Honorable Mention in Ceramics. In Drawing and Illustration, Daniel Xie ’24 won a Silver Key and Honorable Mention. For Photography, Brian Lee ’24 won both a Gold Key and Silver Key, Cole Sparks ’24 won a Silver Key and Honorable Mention, and Abe Tolkoff ’21 won two Honorable Mentions. Jake Kornmehl ’24 also won Honorable Mention in Photography.
The pandemic has resulted in the requirement of additional preparations for the arts program, but maintaining the best experience for students is of utmost importance to the faculty. Mr. Kaplan said, “From a teacher’s perspective, it’s great to see students in our art classes working in-person and with their hands. Even more exciting is that we recently heard from the Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards, and eight boys were selected as award winners!” The faculty strive to continue providing art students with enjoyable projects and impactful learning opportunities through the modified arts curriculum.