Tag Archives: Staples High School art department

Hindsight Is 2020; Student Art Is Timely

Hindsight is 2020.

That’s an old saying — made new and (perhaps) clever as we stumble into this new year 2021.

But it’s also the name of the soon-to-open MoCA Westport exhibition — the first to showcase high school student art.

“Enough” (Nate Kolek, Staples High School senior)

Beginning Saturday (January 23), and running through March 13, “Hindsight is 2020” features submissions created during (duh) 2020.

The nearly 200 entries from across Connecticut and New York — including painting, photography, digital art, drawing, sculpture, ceramics and more — offer a diverse portrait of what young people have experienced in these challenging times.

A number of Westport students are represented in the exhibit.

“Ronnie” (Miles Kennedy, Greens Farms Academy sophomore)

MoCA Westport’s Teen Council played an important role in the exhibit. One member — Staples High School student Tessa Moore — serves as a juror.

“We were so impressed by the quality and diversity of work we received from the high school artists,” says MoCA executive director Ruth Mannes.

“We know students have had a challenging year, and that art and creative expression have helped many students with coping and resilience.”

“Summer 2020” (Sabrina Paris, Staples High School sophomore)

Director of exhibits Liz Leggett adds, “It was very meaningful to have teachers so engaged in this process. We heard from several that entering this exhibition was a highlight of the year for many students.” Many teachers physically delivered works to MoCA.

The exhibit includes cash prizes for the top 3 pieces.

“Stalker of the Night” (Shivali Kanthan, Staples High School freshman)

“Hindsight is 2020” is open to the public Wednesdays through Saturdays, 12 to 4 p.m. Click here for reservations, or visit on Free Fridays when no reservation is required.

The art can also be viewed on mocawestport.org in a digital gallery.

BONUS MoCA DISPLAY: the world’s largest abstract painting. It was created by the community during a MoCA Westport Family Day event in October. Westport artist Trace Burroughs helped the work set a new Guinness world record.

“Masked” (Ian Chow, Pierrepont Academy freshman)

Amid A Pandemic, Young Artists Persevere

Some of the world’s best art has been produced in times of crisis.

Some of Staples High School’s best, too.

For proof, look at the first newsletter from the Visual Arts Department. It’s filled with stunning drawings, paintings, photography, digital works, animation, jewelry, ceramics and pottery.

Even more remarkably, the students’ creations were done at a time of uncertainty and upheaval — when time to study in a classroom or work in a studio was at a premium.

Self-portrait (Poppy Livingstone)

Painting students bring supplies to school the one day a week their class meets, then haul them back home. Teachers create demo videos outside of class time, to augment their lessons. Feedback takes different forms in cyberspace. Digital art students lack the powerful software available on school computers. And without potters’ wheels and kilns at home, students use air-drying clay, and focus on hand-building techniques.

Despite the challenges, it works. Teachers still teach. Teenagers create. At a time when we need it more than ever, Staples art continues to intrigue and inspire.

Akira Madique’s Graphic Design 2 poster.

The curriculum includes Advanced Placement Studio Art: Drawing, Honors Studio Art, Oil Painting, Watercolor Painting, Advanced Painting, Painting Big, Silkscreen and Advanced Silkscreen; Photography 1 and 2; Graphic Design 1 and 2; Animation; Digital Foundation Honors; Advanced Placement 3D Art; Jewelry Design and Advanced Jewelry Design; Ceramics, and Pottery.

A fast shutter speed image by Siobhan Jebb.

Click here to see the full Visual Arts News page. Click here for more information about Staples’ Visual Arts Department.

Adding stippling to a pot.

Madeline Bell designed and created this bracelet.

(The Staples High School visual arts staff includes Carla Eichler, Camille Eskell, Jaclyn Jeselnik, Stacey Phelan, Justin Shay, Angela Simpson and Tracy Wright.)

Roundup: Staples Art Show; BMW Security; More

Staples High School is out for the summer. But the astonishing artwork produced by students — before it was closed by COVID-19, and afterward during distance learning — lives on.

The art department’s website includes a gallery, a “virtual art show,” and news. It’s filled with art of all kinds: watercolor, charcoal, pen-and-ink, photography, jewelry, prints, murals, masks, pottery, graphic design and more. Click here for the link.

It’s well worth visiting. Just make sure you have plenty of time. There’s lots to enjoy, and be proud of.

The entrance to the “Virtual Art Show.”

On Friday, attendees at Staples’ drive-through graduation ceremony got their first glimpse of the high school’s new security vehicle.

It looks like a shiny new electric BMW.

But looks are not always what they seem. In fact, it’s used — a 2015 model. And Westport did not spend a penny on it.

The vehicle was donated by a citizen to the Westport Police Department, which in turn gifted it to the town. The value — according to Board of Selectmen minutes — is between $5,000 and $20,000.

Just remember that donation, the next time someone makes some comment about Westport’s school security officers riding around in BMWs, (Hat tip: Dr. Edward Paul)

And finally … It’s been nearly 3 weeks since George Floyd was killed, and 3 months since the coronavirus upended America. Bob Dylan is (once again) right.