Senior IB Visual Arts students hold exhibition


Through the IB art course, students are taught both the important tenets of art and how to apply them to their own work. Over the course of two years, students create several works, applying these skills and techniques that eventually culminate in an end of the year art show, put on for all to enjoy. April 9, this chance for artistic recognition came to fruition, with the student’s work on display at Hardy and Nance studios downtown.

IB art teacher and artist Benjamin Stiles shed some light on the course and how long this exhibition has been in the making.

“It varies from student to student, but the program is a two year program, with some of the work either started or done the year or two before. So students typically spent about two years working on the body of work that they’ve completed,” Stiles said. 

For Stiles, these works represent a unified body of work, with the process of making them integral to the cultivation of the students as artists and people.

“I think that the way you are challenged to think as an artist absolutely benefits you and society, and the artist as a human being, and lets you be in touch with your creativity in interesting ways. As well as allowing  for unique and creative ways to solve problems,” Stiles said. 

Despite not having his own work up on display, Stiles still found immense reward in the experience for himself. 

 “Seeing their work on a gallery wall, it’s thrilling for me to see the students’ reaction,” Stiles said. “I’ve seen the work as it’s been created, but to see the students’ reaction and to see their work presented, in all its glory and final form, is always incredibly inspirational to me as a teacher.”

Senior Mateo Stossi, whose works were on display, also expressed a sense of payoff in the exhibit.

“It’s definitely very rewarding to display my artwork, seeing it all put together all organized on a wall. It’s very personal and very rewarding,” Stossi said

He went into further detail talking about how much of a landmark this was for him,

 “It’s my first exhibition, so I’m very excited about it,” Stossi said.“It’s just such an amazing feeling to see everything you’ve worked on for years be on display, as well as developing yourself as an artist on the wall – it’s a very good feeling.”

The elation over the exhibit extended to Stossi’s peers such as senior Lauren Hotte.

“It’s a place where a bunch of artists who have been working hard for the past two years can just come together and show their style and what they think is important, and say what they think is important about the world through their art,” Hotte said.

Kyrsten Crawford, the mother of Eliza and April Crawford, two IB art seniors, also had some words on the importance of the show to the students.

“To have this culminating project where they’ve been able to see the end of what they’ve been working for for the past couple years, where their art is up and displayed, they can then see it in a new light that really highlights their work,” Crawford said.”

And one of the major benefits of the student’s work being on display is interacting with people seeing your work.

“I’ve gotten some good feedback from other parents and my classmates,” Stossi said. “It’s all very positive and very encouraging.” 

Hotte related a similar experience.

 “ I saw a few people looking at my art and it was really cool to see that” people are actually taking it in and really interested in coming up with their own interpretation of my art, ” Hotte said 

Senior Mikal Nazarani who was attending the show was blown away by the work on display and thought the work was especially important to people his age.

“A lot of adolescents are going through a lot of the same stuff and dealing with the same angst,” Nazarani said. “It’s interesting to see how people express it artistically through so many different mediums.”

He continued about the true triumph of the exhibit.

“When people think of visual arts, the first thing they jump to is painting, but seeing the range of mediums and materials and ideas people use in expressing themselves definitely held up,” Nazarani said.

This praise comes into focus as Hotte further combines these sentiments into a cohesive image of what the show was really about.

“We were all able to curate work over two years so this is a big moment for everybody as we’re all able to show off our work, talk about our themes and see the growth that we’ve had over time,” Hotte said.