Vibrant colors, effortless smiles, and genuine laughter decorated the gymnasium of Valparaiso High School on the evening of Thursday, April 9. VHS held its annual AP/IB Art Show, an event in which students set up booths to showcase their artistic creations. Students displayed everything from sculptures to embroidery to photography.
VHS Art Teacher Matthew Banas said, “The art show is always an exciting event. It provides insight to the talent VHS has to offer, and it’s reassuring to see such a great turnout year after year.”
Banas is right. The art show attracts everyone from the school’s staff to friends and family. The show featured 56 artists and the artwork they have been concocting this past school year. These artists are sophomores, juniors, and seniors who take an advanced art class.
“Not many people in the community and even at the school are exposed to the pieces that we tirelessly work on in the advanced art classes,” said VHS Senior TJ Kalin. “The AP/IB art show allows us to display what we’re good at.”
The students can potentially earn college credit for their portfolios through the College Board (AP) or the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. The neat thing about VHS’s students is that although many of them plan on studying art at the university level, several are involved in a multitude of other activities at the high school. These students are well-rounded leaders who have mastered the art of time management. Students manage to stay involved in activities like sports, academic clubs, or theater. Often times, these art students derive inspiration from their other activities and incorporate these ideals in their artwork.
Additionally, the art show displayed another important aspect of the high school—the Life Skills program. The purpose of the VHS Life Skills Program is to provide academic and social opportunities for VHS students with mental and physical disabilities who are identified by the education department. Members of the Life Skills Program opened a concessions stand called “Simply Gifted Coffee”.
Kaytie Zaharias, VHS Senior and Leader of the Life Skills Program, said, “We’re thrilled to be here selling concessions and interacting with members of the community. I think it’s great to see the art department and the special needs program collaborate in celebration of creativity and differences in perspectives.”
All in all, the event was an accurate portrayal of the vast diversity VHS has to offer. Not only did it reflect positively on the future of VHS’s art department, but it also offered students the chance to flaunt their remarkable skills.
Artists included: Anthony Sanchez, Alexa Kudrak, Katrin Terry, Samantha Garcia, Kimberly Jankowski, Kevin Scannell, Katie Janoski, Hailey Smith, Monica Richel, Mia Baker, Shannon Brown, Ian Jones, Julia Manion, Alex Jacobs, Gena Wallzs, Chris Hartz, Aleksa Reed, Marin Hilbrich, Sarah Hartman, Shelby Lemmon, Corey Gardner, Hannah Monk, Billy Rollings, Holly Thompson, Annie Keimeg, TJ Kalin, Emily Owen, Courtney Earl, Patsy Reyna, Zoe Crim, Asia Lindholm, Sara Kupsis, Miranda Schwinkendorf, Rayna Johnson, Lizzie Larrabee, Emily Miltenberger, Eavan O’Brien-Cleveland, Paige Mekola, Galen Coulopoulos, Victor Peres, Joshua Dorman, Julie Kay, Allie Thome, Ally Runnion, Mycah Houser, Ciclali Esparza, Mallory Thomas, Emmy Chojecki, Matthew Supergan, Baylie Benson, Tristan Szymanski, Emma Patterson, Maggie Vail, Sydney Intagliata, and Rebecca Weiler.