NAHS winter art show: Creation through COVID-19

Students work to complete projects before the upcoming art show. Works across all classes will be featured, and the website used will allow for more pieces to be represented and is more accessible for the community. “One of the things I’m keeping in mind is not to have a line of the same work, so everything is new and fresh every time you look at it,” senior Bec Patsenker said. (Credit: Courtesy of Katherine Deane)

Wayland High School will use an online platform to preserve its tradition of a Winter Week art show in an effort to lift community spirits amidst the pandemic. The National Art Honors Society (NAHS) is organizing the show for Feb. 4. It will display student work across all art classes.

The online platform provides creative freedom for NAHS.

“It is a great opportunity to do something new this year, since we can’t have the art show in person,” NAHS secretary Jack McCahan said. “It’s sort of an online museum, where you can walk through galleries that are like 3D, almost like a virtual reality experience, which I think is even more exciting than a normal art show.”

The new virtual gallery tool has allowed the art department to curate many more pieces than usual to display in the show.

“Ms. Latimer and I typically try to include a piece from every student,” art teacher Amy O’Connell said. “This year we tried to open it up and ask if students wanted to participate. For some students, we incorporated more than one piece because in a digital platform we have more flexibility where we can add more works and the program that we’re using can hold more pieces.”

“Before it was a one-day event, but now that it’s online you can access it anytime for two weeks, so I hope that anyone who wants to can join the event this year,” McCahan said.

Students from ceramics created 3D artworks to be displayed. “In order to have a 3D piece, you have to do some photoshopping, and then it will look like it’s on a pedestal in the museum,”  senior Jack McCahan said. (Credit: Dora Chen)

NAHS members look forward to viewing each other’s work in this fun, innovative and interactive way.

“It will be really fun just to walk through the gallery myself,” McCahan said. “I’ve found the platform to be really exciting. I’ve never used it before. It’s called ‘Kunstmatrix.’ I’ve been browsing the other online art shows so it would be fun to see one of ours on there.”

NAHS members hope to host a show that properly showcases the talent of their fellow artists.

“In general I think it’s just about telling a story with the pieces and creating a bit of diversity,” NAHS vice president Bec Patsenker said. “We didn’t want COVID-19 to stop us, because we have a lot of really great work from a lot of really talented artists and it deserves to go on display.”

I hope that visitors see that despite this unique school year that we’ve had, being remote [and] being hybrid, students are still able to make some beautiful artwork. I think that they’ll see that not much has changed in that category, which makes Ms. Latimer and I very proud.

— Amy O'Connell

“It sucks a little bit to not be able to see the actual work and to go in person and talk to people about the artwork or to congratulate people, but we’re making it work,” Patsenker said.

NAHS members are very proud to present this project to the public, and are passionate about keeping this tradition alive.

“NAHS is so willing to help and is such a strong community this year. I don’t think this could have happened without all of the members and all of their help and hard work, so I would consider that a triumph,” Patsenker said. “Even though there were complications, [and] it’s going to be really different, at the same time we still get to showcase our work and celebrate what we’ve done, and I think that’s always going to stay the same.”