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John Jay High School’s art program typically begins with Studio Art in a student’s freshman year. From there, students can choose from multiple classes and make a sequence, as desired, in ceramics and sculpture, drawing and painting, graphic design, photography, and film.
Featuring the work of over one hundred student-artists in ceramics and sculpture, drawing and painting, graphic design, photography, and film, John Jay’s annual art show, Rite of Spring, celebrates the variety of visual art classes, interests, and talents at the high school.
Rite of Spring opens on Thursday, March 30, during school lunch periods, and runs through April 7. It is open to the public during John Jay Theatre Workshop’s performances of Little Women, the musical, on March 30 and 31 from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. and on Saturday, April 1, from noon to 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 to 10:00 p.m.
Hannah Ziegler, a senior, is showing a fluted bowl, created in Advanced Ceramics and Sculpture. This piece was also part of her college admission portfolio. “I’ll be studying art education with an emphasis in ceramics at SUNY New Paltz next year,” she said.
One of the multimedia pieces in Rite of Spring is a narrative film by Anya Rieger that touches on the dangers of intoxicated driving. “I hope to have a long-lasting career in the arts, but I haven’t decided where to focus,” said Reiger, a junior enrolled in Photography, and Filmmaking and Animation. She is also showing a vivid photograph of cupcake liners. “I love photography, filmmaking, and to draw and paint; so maybe a combination of all four.”
Sam Spione, a senior, is taking both Drawing and Painting, and Photography this year. He is showing a self-portrait done in acrylic as well as two photojournalistic pieces. “Photography is one of my main passions in life,” he said. “John Jay’s photography courses have allowed me to learn to utilize different production techniques, such as how to develop film in a darkroom.”
Madison Zaccagnino, a senior in AP Art, is showing drawing of a fist done in pen with an ink wash. “When I look at my work from freshman year, I’m amazed at how much I’ve grown as an artist,” she said. Meg Howes, a senior heading to California institute of the Arts next fall to study animation, is showing a drawing of tennis players done in colored pencil.
Tori Robinson, a sophomore in Ceramics I, has been working on vase for the show. “I tried to make the largest vase I could on the wheel,” she said. “It kept breaking. This project taught me how to troubleshoot.” She will layer a glaze called Palladium on top of other glazes for a shimmering finish.
Rite of Spring will also include an etched ceramic vessel, an animated film of a cat carrying a kitten, a colored pencil work of clothes hanging in a closet, a modern 3D design for a school cafeteria, plus many more—with over one hundred and seventy pieces in all.
“There are few more interesting and exciting places to be than in a room of art students who are gaining confidence in communicating and expressing their own ideas visually,” said Julie Evans-Kaser, who teaches Drawing and Painting, and Studio Art and Design. “They brainstorm, plan, problem solve, and experience their own eureka moments along the way. That's pretty great!"