By Upper School Visual Arts and Filmmaking teacher Cindy Santos Bravo, Senior Computer Science Lead Darren Cameron
La Jolla Country Day School has a long history of displaying amazing student art for the whole community to observe and enjoy. But imagine having your art displayed at the downtown Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD). That’s what 11 Upper School art and technology students experienced during a student art exhibition on Thursday, March 16. Every year, the Upper School art studio partners with the MCASD in the Extended School Partnership (ESP) program, which offers teachers and students an opportunity to develop more flexibility and curiosity as a team of creators.
This year, student-artists took on the challenge to learn more about the current MCASD exhibitions from the museum educator, Liz Stringer. Over the course of six months, students transformed the museum experiences into a group exhibition that addressed connections, ideas and interpretations about contemporary art into individual work from each student-artist. “By pairing with the art and technology class, which dealt with philosophical and theory issues—not just about art making in general—I was able to engage the students and teachers in a grander discussion. I was a part of a discussion that developed into an open dialogue between the students and the teachers,” shared Ms. Stringer.
All the hard work culminated in a successful one-night opening at the Colette and Ivor Royston Gallery across the street from the main entrance of MCASD. Here’s what some of the students had to share about their experience:
“When I first walked into the gallery, I was amazed; the pieces were so well displayed that it felt like any other professional art show.” –Yuqi Yang ’19
“I really enjoyed talking to the guests that were there and also the people who were looking at my work. I got a lot of compliments on my art, which was really nice to hear, but I was mainly really excited to hear how my art impacted other people, how people connected with it and what they thought about it.” –Georgia Lewis ’19
“I didn’t know that there would be that many strangers there interested in seeing high school art. It was really amazing that all these people who I had never even seen before were inspired to take my art cards with them to keep. The outcome of people and how positively they reacted to the show was really fulfilling and amazing to see and made me feel more confident about my art.” –Anna Shaul ’19
On the night of the event, students and teachers mingled with members of the LJCDS community, San Diegans, MCASD museum educators, and Woodrow Wilson Middle School students who also showcased their Extended School Partnership exhibition at the Berglund Gallery. The evening inspired wonderful conversations about technology and art, the power of youth and the creative play that is developing at LJCDS. We hope that our students found value in exploring areas outside their comfort zone, and can see how the obstacles they encountered were necessary challenges to overcome—and take pride in doing so. After the exhibition, as educators, we are left feeling exhilarated, optimistic and honored to be a part of the lives of a wonderful group of young artists who are going to change our world.