New “stadium” houses student art

E104+was+transformed+from+Ray+Cooper%27s+animation+room+to+an+art+gallery+that+displays+student+2D+and+3D+art.

Parker Nolan

E104 was transformed from Ray Cooper's animation room to an art gallery that displays student 2D and 3D art.

Kelsey Carroll, Staff Reporter

As students turn into E-hall, the new art gallery can be seen on the right-hand side, its stark white walls already covered by works in various media created by a multitude of student artists.

One of the newest additions to the campus, the art gallery, is currently showcasing AP Studio Art students’ work. The construction of the gallery began two weeks before the end of the 2015-2016 school year, and has recently concluded. Art teacher Brice McCasland, most commonly called Mr. Mac, said that building an art gallery would be the best way to showcase his students’ art.

“We were [asked] ‘what is it that this place needs to fully capitalize the quality of students that we have’ and ‘what is one thing they need?’” McCasland said. “I [thought] that without [a gallery], how can you expect people to create professional art when they don’t have a professional place to display?”

Although it houses the art students’ work, McCasland said the point of the gallery is that it is “not just for art people.”

Art students display their shelf symbolic still-life portraits in the gallery that the students will then photograph then draw.
Parker Nolan
Art students display their shelf symbolic still-life portraits in the gallery that the students will then photograph then draw.

“[For] a lot of people that aren’t artistic, it’s kind of  a magical thing, when really it’s not,” McCasland said. “It’s time and it’s effort and it’s a lot of things. The hope is that the gallery would be a place that we can further impact the culture of this area, and it becomes more of a legacy that people are accustomed to going to openings, and understand that interaction between the viewer and the artwork, and the artwork and the artist.”

Art student and junior Carly Johnson said having the gallery will draw attention to the art program because “everyone can see all of [the] work everywhere.”

“I think it’s important for us to show our work as artists,” Johnson said. “To have it shown, with our hard work and everything, so that everyone can see it.”

Having his art presented in the gallery makes art student and junior Ryan Irwin feel “just a little bit more professional, like it’s paid off.”

“There’s a lot of misconception that art is just an easy 100,” Irwin said. “So now being able for people to see our process, what we’ve been through, and what we produce without having to go separately to the shows, it’s just very exciting.”

To McCasland, the art gallery makes the students’ work more permanent and real, instead of it “just [going] on the transient panels.”

“I’ve always said that it’s just like ‘why do you need a football stadium if you have a football team?’” McCasland said. “‘Why do you need a tennis court if you have a tennis team?’ It’s because for art kids, the gallery is where they perform.”