Students Showcase Artwork in Annual Art Gallery

Poster for the Blue and Gold Art Gallery. THOMAS TIERNEY

From April 4th to May 15th, Malden High School’s art students put their months of hard work and dedication on display at the annual Blue and Gold Art Gallery. Students used the opening night on the 4th to begin displaying their pieces from the year; some of the pieces featured in the gallery include digital art, drawings, paintings, and ceramics. The gallery space, gifted by John Preotle, a very active supporter of Malden High School and its events, holds up to 200 different pieces from the school, ranging from digital art to ceramics. Students used the opening night to express the creativity that they've put into their art in the past year. The gallery is located at 350 Main Street and is open from 5:30-7:30 pm. Throughout the school year, students put their efforts into their art in hopes of eventually being included in the Blue and Gold Art Gallery.

The annual event has been going on for over 20 years now and has become a well-known event around the school. Opening night is a fulfilling night for the students as it is attended by many parents, teachers, and other residents from around the city. The decisions behind picking which projects go into the gallery are made by all four art teachers. “We jury the show. We try to have a good balance of work, from freshmen to seniors,” claimed digital art teacher Joseph Luongo. Julie Mullane, another teacher who is a part of Luongo’s ‘jury’, teaches ceramics.

Ceramic work on display on a table at the Blue and Gold art gallery. THOMAS TIERNEY

Throughout the year students in her class will make different styles of pottery and ceramics. While this happens, if the student’s work is up for the gallery in April, it will be tucked away into storage for later review. Each project takes patience and careful work to ensure the project comes out well. Once you make your project, it's left to air dry for between 1-3 days depending on how much clay is used. After it has completely dried you would then put it in the kiln and once it comes out of the kiln, you then glaze it to your desired look. After that, it is put back into the kiln and it comes out with a shiny glass coating.

For Mullane, art isn't just another class or another elective at Malden High, to her it's an escape for students to get away. “I think kids love coming to the art room 'cause it gives them a chance to work hands-on. I think the majority of classes are like reading and writing and you know, sitting still and being on the computer screen,” claimed Mullane. Senior Marianne Rivadeneira also believes that art is, “A good brain break from my other classes,” and allows her to explore her creative side rather than sitting behind a screen. 

Kristina Gilbert is currently the Foundations of Art and Studio l teacher, which is the class where students begin to explore their more artistic and creative side. In the class, students work with many different types of art styles. For students, this class is just the start of their newfound potential. Many students will continue with art through their next years of high school with ceramics, digital art, or calligraphy. To Gilbert, the opportunity to show off their work in a “framed and semi-prestigious kind of place,” can give students the idea that they may see hope and maybe open their eyes to a future in art, whether it's just in high school or maybe even after. 

Unique artwork made in Studio. THOMAS TIERNEY

With the talent seen in the gallery, each teacher expressed how proud they were of their students. Luongo gave props to all of the students involved with the art this year stating that, “The work this year, as it usually is, is very strong; it's a really good show. We have a lot of incredibly talented students.” To add on Mullane said, “The kids are great. They come up with creative ideas or we provide them with the idea and they choose the medium or vice versa and they usually have a pretty good variety of different interpretations of the same idea. So we get to see a big range of skills and different products, which is really nice.” Gilbert also gave props to the massive amount of patience each project takes to make. 

Realistic map portraits presented at Art Gallery. NATHAN DEAN
A display of some more students work. THOMAS TIERNEY

The work this year was especially recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards competition. This year Malden High School students won 11 awards, including 5 Gold Key awards. Those five winners include Ambar Silverio Diaz’s Line Pattern self-portrait and Mythology Project, Milan Nguyen’s Elusive Beauty monoprint, Dziyana Trusava’s Line Pattern self-portrait, and Kathleen Yick’s Observational Drawing. The other six awards went to Anna Chen, Helen Hoang, Makenzie Jenkins, Tina Lao, Junxian Li, and Christina Mui, all for honorable mention. 

Overall the Blue and Gold Art Gallery has brought the expectations high for the upcoming years and has left all of Malden High and the art department proud and excited to see what comes next. After the show officially closes on May 15th, all artwork will be returned to the artists as the art department closes up another successful year and looks forward to the next.

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