On Apr. 9, 2015, Malden High School’s fine arts department held its annual Blue and Gold Art Gallery opening reception at Commerce Place on Main Street in Malden. Many students, families, and Malden residents attended to admire the art and hear the speeches made.
The Tuesday prior to the opening reception, student volunteers took a day off of school to help set up for the show. Assembling all of the pieces in an appealing order took up two days. It was a long and tiring process for both the students and the art teachers who did everything in their power to make the gallery showing possible. However, after all the artwork was arranged, “all [the hard work] paid off. Everything look[ed] beautiful,” stated sophomore Dorabela Sousa, a studio one art student that volunteered.
The gallery will remain for a month, holding a variety of unique pieces of different styles. Admirable self portraits are hung up high and catch anyone’s attention the moment he walks through the doors. Unparalleled pottery pieces are also displayed by the entrance of the building, all of them different and creative with their own individual styles. The artwork varies from digital art, caricatures, black and white sketches, calligraphy, landscapes, paintings, and more.
At Malden High School, art has long been a vital aspect of the school. In his speech, Mayor Gary Christenson expressed his admiration for the high school students for their hard work and success. Christenson described that when prospective businesses and companies are recruited to his office, they do not marvel about the mayor or the city, they “just cannot say enough about this artwork.” He joked that he holds the students accountable not only for the beautiful art, but also for “economic development for the city of Malden.”
MHS art teacher Joseph Luongo believes that art helps students grow and prepares themselves for life after high school. He stated that he “is not sure that graduating a generation of professional test takers prepares one for the real world.” Luongo also described that when planning and finalizing artwork for the gallery, there were obstacles such as snow days, which minimized the amount of time they had to accomplish everything. He commented that it is “a testament of the hard work of the students, many of whom stayed after school to work on projects.”
Principal Dana Brown made an inspiring speech expressing his awe in MHS art students. Brown explained that art is not recognized and cherished enough. When he spoke, he mentioned that when students receive high grades on tests, they are considered intelligent, however when a student paints a beautiful picture, it is just considered “a good drawing.” Brown insists that “it is intelligence. It is just a different kind of intelligence.” Through his speech, he made it clear that he believes people need to start capturing art, and measuring it, and that, in his perspective, that kind of talent is just as important as getting a great mark on a test.
The art teachers at MHS and the art teachers in the K-8 programs of the city were recognized several times in the speeches made. The teachers in all of the schools in Malden play an important role in helping young artists grow within the field they love.
Not only are the Malden art departments in Malden adored by the students, but it is also adored by the teachers who partake in it. MHS art teacher Julie Mullane, when thanking the parents, stated that “[they] love having [the] children come to [their] classrooms.” Mullane described that the classes are always lively, and the students are constantly keeping the teachers laughing and on their toes. She added that “it is evident how hard [the students] work with all the artwork” displayed in the gallery.
A great amount of the Malden community attended the Blue and Gold Art Gallery opening reception and many plan to return throughout the following month to admire the students’ pieces. The art department at Malden High School continues to be a success and produce artwork that leaves the city in awe. The students cherish this aspect of the school, as many of them consider art as “a comfort zone.”