Revamping Visual Arts

This year, the Visual Art Department is seeking more opportunities for students and faculty on the Circle to showcase and appreciate artwork. Groton’s art teachers and prefects have come together to refine the platforms, both physical and online, that we use to share art.

  Ms. Jennifer Ho and Mrs. De Jesus-Akuete are co-directing the Brodigan Gallery this year, located on the first floor of the Dining Hall. They are focusing on displaying the work of student, faculty, and visiting artists there, because of its prominent location on campus. “It’s a gallery for the community and constantly has some interaction with students passing by,” Ms. Ho explained. “It’s meant to provoke thought and interaction.”

  The first exhibition there, Artists Around the Circle, highlighted the hidden talents of faculty, staff and their family members. Mr. Lamarre-Vincent, who contributed a painting of his own from college, praised the exhibition: “The variety of work was interesting and I was impressed by the number of people who contributed. You don’t expect it.” The exhibition features paintings by David Belsky, alumnus and son of teachers Kate Dennison and Stephen Belsky, photographs by math teacher Mr. Jon Creamer, and art from several other faculty members and relatives. When asked about the possibility of a similar exhibition in the future, Mr. LV said, “It’s a great impetus to get in the studio. I would do it again.” Students, too, got involved and were keen to appreciate the art. Henry Hodde ‘20, found the location very accessible: “I think the fact that it was located in the Dining Hall really enabled students to go see the art. It was really convenient and I really enjoyed seeing what my teachers can make.”

The Art Department has other upcoming exhibition ideas for the Brodigan Gallery, including an interactive exhibition, which will feature not only a piece of art, but also notecards containing the reactions it received from the audience. Yearly, the Gallery also hosts a Mudge Fellow – a visiting art educator to display their works and integrate their artistic and pedagogical practices in the visual art classes at Groton. Ms. Ho and Mrs. De Jesus-Akuete also plan on using the space for solo exhibitions for advanced art classes. Students will be responsible for selecting their own works for display, and crafting artist statements to emulate a professional art exhibition.

The Groton Undiscovered Artists’ Collaborative, appetizingly known as GUAC, has returned to campus this year. Their Instagram, @thisisguac, showcases the artwork of students all around campus of all different skill levels and art forms. According to Julia Kendall ‘19, the art prefects are, “planning to use it to showcase art at every level around the Circle— from the most basic scribbles to high level art that takes months to detail.” They plan on having regular meetings to discuss, plan, and organize art initiatives around campus. The art prefects are also hoping to organize trips to museums and galleries in the local area and Boston, which would be documented on the Instagram.

These past and future exhibitions are seeking to provide a platform for all artists and students to express themselves creatively. The convenient location of the Brodigan Gallery, as well as @thisisguac’s accessible online platform, will allow for more students to appreciate and discuss artwork from all around campus.