On Wednesday, February 10th, Concord Academy held the Fall Art Show, exhibiting students’ art pieces for their peers, teachers, and parents to see. What does this opportunity mean for student artists? Today, Roger Ge 21’, a senior student who has his works exhibited in the Art Show every year, will share his insights on this unique artistic experience.
Coco: Hi Roger! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself as a student artist?
Roger: Yes. I have practiced art ever since I was young. Drawing is what brought out my artistic self, and throughout the past few years, I have explored beyond it and tried a variety of different kinds of art, such as photography, painting, and graphic design.
C: Wow, that is very impressive! I heard that you have had your works exhibited at almost every Art Show. How does that feel?
R: Well, I feel a sense of accomplishment, and I think this is for both the students and their teachers, as they show the improvements and the fruits of their work in the past couple months.
C: Most definitely. Do you ever feel nervous?
R: To be honest with you, I’m actually nervous every time. Something I have worked on for weeks or months is going to be exhibited to people I don’t know, and people do have a critical sense of judgement. I have heard other people’s works being ridiculed and it appears terrible, though I wasn’t the artist. This is a presence you can’t ignore. And of course, there’s nothing wrong with critiquing art, but there’s a difference between that and mocking it.
C: Very interesting. And how do you think we can avoid this problem?
R: Frankly, art is subjective. But no matter how subjective it is, I think one needs to keep in mind that what you see is not what the artist intended. Therefore, I found it extremely helpful when (in past years) the artists stood next to their works and talked about their creative process. Another thing would be to encourage all students to take studio art courses (which CA is already doing by assigning art requirements). The fact that those not so interested in art are also required to complete artworks and have them exhibited during Art Show would likely offer an opportunity for students to recognize the efforts that goes into each piece of work, and thus inspire their better appreciation for art.
C: I can’t agree with you more. And as an art student, how do you think you have benefited from the Art Show?
R: I think the benefits for me aren’t necessarily about receiving criticism from anyone to improve myself, but more about getting accustomed to having my work exhibited in front of the public, especially since I hope to pursue art in the future.
As Roger pointed out, the Art Show not only offers student artists an opportunity to exhibit their art, but also prepares them to be more open-minded to others’ commentary. Most importantly, it raises the student audience’s awareness of the value within each art piece their peers have created.