The Annual Malden Blue and Gold Gallery would have had their 20th show last year however due to COVID-19, it was unfortunately canceled but had the opportunity to showcase some artwork this year. This is a show that displays the best artwork that students at Malden High produce, with most of them being from juniors and seniors.
From the beginning, this event has mainly been held at 350 Main Street where it can be viewed by the public at various hours. Part of the process is framing the work and hanging it up in the building on display. It begins with each teacher starting off with collecting some of their student's artworks that they believe will be good to display. They then put all the artwork into two different piles, which are the maybe and definite piles. After, they decide by the students who take the class seriously and which pieces are the nicest. Once they decide, art teacher Mary Ann Seager, and other teachers send them to the printer. In order to get the artwork to the gallery, the teachers have to put all of it in a shopping cart for means of transportation. In the past, students who wanted to join in could help put the many pieces of artwork up. Once the artwork is ready to be hung up, it is organized and displayed by grade level and the type of art it is. Seager described this process as a “fun group effort” and is very thankful for everyone's help.
Malden High art teacher, Joseph Luongo, runs the digital art class as well as Studio 2, 3 and 4. He also participates and enrolls his students' artwork in this gallery. Luongo is grateful that the owner of the building was “nice and gracious enough to rent them the space.” Normally, this art gallery starts in the second week of April to the month of May where many important figures in Malden attend such as Mayor Christenson and Superintendent John Oteri.
Luongo and many other teachers view the gallery as a “big deal” for the community and the future of the school. Usually, several hundred people attend this gallery. But with COVID-19, Luongo described it as “not the same” as before. This year, the gallery opened from January 11th to the 15th. The hours for the art gallery were nine to five and on the weekends, it opened from nine to twelve. As long as people wore a mask, anyone could come in and take a look.
Seager is the one who originates the Blue and Gold Show. Luongo described Seager as the one who has been here the longest and has been the one to always “cultivate it.” Over time, the art gallery became more and more popular. This gallery is considered one of the “biggest showcases for the art department,” said Luongo. This gallery allows people to take a good look at what they are all about and see the pure talent of Malden High students all at once. According to Luongo, there was a “great variety of work.” This included ceramics, photoshop and illustrator, drawings, watercolor, printmaking, painting and plenty of work from his digital art class were displayed as well. His students' work was “very impressive” and he was extremely proud and “amazed at the quality of work” the students put together over the years. Luongo explained that he would not hesitate to put this work up in any other district. To him, the diversity at Malden High School is definitely a strength and adds to the popularity and creativeness of the showcase. He further added that he loves all the “different cultures and viewpoints,” because it makes it all that much better.
The most important thing to the art teachers this year was to display work from the seniors last year so they could be represented. Teachers feel bad that the seniors last year did not get to fulfill their year so the least they wanted to do was showcase most of their work. As Seager stated, they are simply “doing their best.” Seager and many other teachers believed that the gallery looked great. Considering last year, she was “bummed out” it was canceled, but is extremely grateful that they had the chance to make up for it this year.