The annual Blue and Gold Art Gallery is a tradition of Malden where student artwork is showcased for the public at Commerce Place on 350 Main Street. The Summer Show was an exhibit that ran from August 3rd to October 7th, organized by the Fine Arts Department at Malden High School. This summer marked its first year, but the Blue and Gold Art Galley occurs at the same location every year in April.
Out of approximately 1000 student works to choose from, and about 300 selections from the 2014-2015 year were displayed and for sale. The show features artwork entirely from Studio students of MHS from all grades and levels. The Blue and Gold Gallery has consistently attracted new Studio members for the reward of exhibiting creations and commonly felt among the students, as stated by Mary Ann Seager, who has been teaching art at MHS for 20 years.
As a teacher, Seager enjoys learning something new from her students through the variability of ideas in each individual’s art, which is demonstrated in the works at the gallery. The artistic skill and ability of the pupils is unquestionable, but their individual perspective on art is the most exciting and impressive aspect of the gallery.
The process of developing the show is a large effort made possible by its supporters. Orchestrating the overall event engages many helpers such as workers from the Mayor’s Youth Employment Program who assisted in assembling the artwork to major contributors like MHS principal Dana Brown who allow the art showing to take place. The moment when the gallery becomes public is an exciting feat for everyone involved. Seager describes the opening as, “having a party and hoping somebody will come!”
Artists and staff dress formally and anticipate visitors who soon file in to enjoy the showcase, a particularly special moment for art teacher Julie Mullane who expressed, “[They are] so impressed with it and we look at it everyday but getting it out in the public takes on a professional look,” says Mullane. Both Mullane and Seager agree that the sharing of the students’ work and self-expression in a polished setting is a significant payoff.
The availability of wonderful art for the whole Malden community is something valued by all participants and illustrates the importance of prioritizing the arts. The art sale helps fund Malden High School’s Fine Arts Department, enabling the program to continue and thrive. Its wide support from faculty and students demonstrates the strong involvement of the arts at MHS and promotes how crucial the option of art is in education.
On the subject of art’s essentiality, Seager states, “Art is very important to the education of a well rounded person and it helps with divergent and creative thinking. Art develops your idea of deductive reasoning, creative thought. It’s important to showcase that Malden High School has a strong commitment to creative thinkers.”
Whether making or appreciating it, art deserves a communal presence in a school as it develops productivity and creativity in students who can achieve great merit with artistic expression. As art teacher at MHS, Joseph Luongo expresses, “Art is very important. It’s not a matter of just making pretty pictures. They help students as far as critical thinking and creativity. When you look for jobs in the future what people are looking for is people who have innovative solutions to problems and that is what art helps develop.”
The next Blue and Gold Art Sale will begin the week before April vacation at Commerce Place on 350 Main Street.