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Earlier this month, our visual arts program hosted its annual Winter Art Show, which highlighted work from high school and feeder school students. Our visual art program provides a broad and dynamic experience for students to explore various mediums, from 2D and 3D to photography. The Art Show provides a platform for art students like Stephanie Beley, Gisele Muzones, and Brayden Hoffman to showcase their work from throughout the semester. 

Casual observers might not see how much time and thought goes into student artwork. “The first [piece from the show] with the flowers is about how mutual suffering is a form of love, that it is a form of connection.There is one arrow going through both the figures and then they're also in the field of poppies, which oftentimes [symbolizes] fallen soldiers,” Beley said. She estimates that a piece like this took about two or three weeks to complete. 

The LCHS Visual Arts program is led by Mrs. Michele Adams and Ms. Melody Bonilla. Mrs. Adams loves this event because students get the opportunity to share their work with fellow students, family, and community members. “When students have work selected to be in the show, they innately begin to show a great amount of pride in their art. They are excited to share their accomplishments with family, friends, and teachers,” Adams said.

Second-year art teacher Ms. Bonilla recalled memories from her own experiences as a student artist. “When I was in school, being featured in the art show was the most exciting part of school,” Bonilla said. “I hope students felt that same excitement and sense of accomplishment during the winter art show.”

In addition to celebrating and showcasing student work, events like this in the Visual Arts program prepare students for postsecondary success as well. Unlike other majors, for students interested in pursuing a career in art, a portfolio is essential. “I am going to be a graphic designer. A lot of my pieces that I make go into my portfolio for applying to college and for scholarships,” Beley said. “The [skills] that I learned in here furthered my ability to create and do what I want to do in the future.”

Gisele Muzones, an 11th-grade artist, highlighted the unique challenges of AP 2D Art. "It's not a class like math or social studies where you can just look at a book to get answers. Art requires so much creative energy," she explained. Muzones, who has been immersed in art from a young age because of her mom, has begun to take it seriously the last few years. After her freshman year, Muzones took a summer program at Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD) to help further develop her talents.

The program also helps students develop a series of works that are connected by a common theme, which AP refers to as a “Sustained Investigation.” For Muzones, the theme of her two pieces in the show is about rendering perspectives on a 2-D medium. Students in AP 3-D Art also have to create and submit a portfolio of works tied to a theme. Junior Brayden Hoffman’s submission in the show, like Beley’s, was incredibly time-consuming and at times tedious. Her process began by relying on classmates to help create little stacks of paper that had words on them to describe her personality. She used these words as inspiration for her submission, a mixed-media creation with dozens of paper flowers surrounding a self portrait.  

Brayden Hoffman's Self Portrait

Hoffman's story about her process underscores one important aspect of the Visual Arts program: Collaboration. Even though a class like this is individual, it is still very much a community. 
“Everybody's so willing to help you with everything that you do. If you know somebody knows how to use like charcoal, you can go up to them, and they will willingly teach you how to use that. We could go up to anybody in the class and ask for advice. It's a real, true community. It’s the best class in the school. Not going to lie.”