2018 Arts Appreciation Week at Hillsborough

The Hillsborough campus came alive with color when Arts Appreciation Week returned for a second consecutive year, April 23–27. Produced by art teachers Rachel Dawson and Reenie Charriere in partnership with the parent-driven arts committee, student artwork flooded the lower and middle school campuses for a week in a celebration of creativity.

Arts Week2

Art electives students displayed their work in the mansion and library, with works that included pieces of sustainable fashion, ceramics, mixed-media, and even a display of photographs from the camouflage project. 

Music teachers Jason Muscat and Maggie Eggert organized lunchtime concerts to incorporate the performing arts into the week. The Friction Quartet, a professional string ensemble, performed in the ballroom to present student compositions written by Nueva fourth graders. Maggie boosted the event in an email: "All year, students have been working on their own composition through the Young Composers and Improvisers Workshop, and now it's time to have their pieces played live for everyone to see and hear!" 

The lunchtime concerts attracted students, teachers, parents, and grandparents for three days of performances. The students played scores from the Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Imagine Dragons, and even a guitar solo from the Guns N' Roses hit Sweet Child O' Mine

"Music is best served when it is shared as a community event," Jason said. "Arts Appreciation Week gave our middle school musicians a wonderful opportunity to show what they have been doing this whole semester, both as individuals and in their bands." 

Rachel Dawson, the middle and upper school art teacher who coordinated Arts Appreciation Week, has been teaching at Nueva since 2005. Outside of Nueva, Rachel is an active mixed-media and process-based artist. "I am really interested in materials and I am constantly experimenting with different mediums and trying to learn new skills." Rachel instills this approach to art-making with an openness to mistakes, admitting that the many mistakes she has made in her own studio have resulted in later success. Rachel says, "Many of the projects I have introduced to my students are things I am interested in exploring, but don't always fit into the work I am currently making or have time to play around with in my own studio practice."

Camouflage Project Sustainable Fashion Arts Week Wall

 

Nueva's lower school arts teacher Reenie Charriere is planning several site-specific installations this summer in Illinois, Sardinia, and Korea. All three works will use plastic bags as a medium.

Reenie’s interest in environmental installation and recycled media has carried over into Nueva’s fifth-grade class in the form of “Plastiglyphs." Inspired by the petroglyphs and pictographs of Crow Canyon and the American Southwest, Plastiglyphs are formed from mounting tape and repurposed packaging.

In anticipation of the event, Reenie said, “The arts are always present at Nueva, but this week highlights visual art, art electives, and music on grander scale.” 

 

Plastiglyphs 1 Arts Week2 Plastiglyphs 1

 

Fast Facts

What’s the difference between petroglyphs and pictographs? Petroglyphs are images carved into stone and pictographs are images painted onto stone. Both petroglyphs and pictographs serve as a visual language. 

Arts Week concluded with Friday's Menuhin assembly, and the students were released with Art Walk maps to lead them on a tour of their classmates' artwork around campus. While Rachel distributed snacks and refreshments in the library, Reenie walked groups of students through the mansion courtyard. Between squeals of excitement, onlookers could hear Reenie asking students about the art, "What do you think of this?"

"I hope that people will see that the essential part of all art is the process, the building of ideas and problem-solving individually and collaboratively," Reenie says. 

Parents and grandparents also attended the Art Walk, and students took turns playing melodies on the ballroom piano.

Rachel will be working with the Arts Committee again in May to bring Arts Appreciation Week to the upper school campus, where students will host “Eat Your Art Out," a bake sale to raise money for different arts organizations around the San Francisco Bay Area. Last year, "Eat Your Art Out" raised $500 toward Girls’ Inc. While this year’s "Eat Your Art Out" organization is still to be determined, Rachel is confident that she will be at least as successful as last year in supporting local art communities.

Video Highlights from Arts Apprecation Week 2018

 

Snapshots of Arts Apprecation Week 



Looking for more photos from Arts Appreciation Week? Follow us on Instagram @TheNuevaSchool

By Julia Barzizza, Digital Content Specialist

May 2, 2018

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