ArtFest shows off South’s student talent

March 30, 2017

From March 22-25, students, parents, teachers and community members could see students’ artwork in South’s annual ArtFest that took place in the multi-purpose room.

“ArtFest is very significant because it is that one time a year where people get to see what art students are doing, otherwise they are just quietly working away and putting things in drawers,” drawing and painting, concept and materials, 2D design and photography teacher Kit Aro said. “And for it to come out with a big bang, all on the walls with this amazing collection of work of all different levels is a real triumph for my students to share what they do.”

Art student Kristina Rogers, who won the Mary Aro Award for Excellence in Drawing and Painting this year and four different awards last year, said she agrees. She submitted eleven pieces to the ArtFest this year and her mediums are drawing and painting, sculpture, metals and computer graphics, she said.

Personally, ArtFest is a great opportunity to show the whole school the work I’ve done all year in my art classes, and even outside of school,“ Rogers said. 

It’s also really rewarding when you can win awards or be recognized for something that you already love doing,

— Rogers said.

According to Aro, between 500 and 1000 community members participated in this year’s ArtFest to view around 2000 pieces from approximately 400 art students.

“I really like to see all the talent that Grosse Pointe South’s students have to offer and to be able to purchase high quality art at reasonable prices,” Julia Hoffmann, mother of art students Samuel Hoffmann ‘16 and Mary Hoffmann ‘18, said.

According to Aro, there were 14 Gold Key Portfolio seniors for scholastics, which is more than there ever has been.

This year’s Artfest had amazing senior boards,“ Rogers said, “Seeing the seniors’ boards is really inspirational because you get to see the best work they’ve ever done.”

And this was not the only thing that was new and special about this year’s ArtFest.

“We had a brand new board which was a grant done by Susan Choudau and we had these amazing new table cloths which made the tables look like sculptural pedestals,” Aro said.

Several visitors, including Hoffmann, said they appreciated the installations.

“I really enjoyed how it was set up. I liked the little private displays because they (are) very emotional,” Hoffmann said.

To prepare such a big event takes up a lot of time and effort, according to Aro.

“We prepared for a full year. When ArtFest ends, like now, we are already preparing for next year because kids are starting to produce more art and we think about what should go in the show next year,” Aro said.

The committee of parent and community volunteers started meeting in the fall to prepare and coordinate ArtFest and take care of the finances, Aro said.

“We would not have this show without volunteers, custodians and engineers,” Aro said. “Treasurer Lynn Gadzinski is masterfully organizing the finances and Monica Dennis and Michele Lynch are masterminds in terms of coordinating and volunteering.”

Volunteers like Hoffmann said they enjoyed volunteering at ArtFest.

“I think that it’s a worthwhile program and my children have benefited from it in years past and I wanted to give back. I really liked how organized the committee was and I enjoyed being able to help sell the students’ art,” Hoffmann said.

I think the art department does a phenomenal job,

— Hoffmann said.

According to Aro, all the work was definitely worth it as could be seen by the number of people that showed up.

“I always love how ArtFest is run in a professional manner, so it doesn’t look like a little kid art show, and real sponsors from the community come in to reward us,“ Rogers said.

“Even if I feel very relieved that it is over, but I think it was really a triumph of student achievement and community and teacher involvement,” Aro said, “everybody came together to this incredible show.”

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  • K

    Kit AroApr 8, 2017 at 7:20 am

    Great article Ella! The name of the person who wrote the grant to the GPFPE is Susan Trudeau. We are very grateful to her and all the volunteers who make ArtFest possible!