A sneak peek into art fest: a student exhibition

Maddie Kitchen '24, Supervising Copy Editor

Lucy Frye ’24 adds texture to the stack of clay rocks on her beach-inspired sundial on Feb. 28 during the Ceramics I class. (Maddie Kitchen ’24)

Soon after spring break on April 19-21, South’s multi-purpose room will be transformed into an art gallery as the annual Art Fest prepares for another showing.

Art Fest boasts a vast array of student-made artwork across all mediums, from photographs to paintings to sculptures. Current art student Sophia Gamero ’24 said she’s looking forward to the event as it allows her to get a glimpse of what her peers have been working on all year.

“I’m kind of excited,” Gamero said. “I enjoy seeing other people’s art pieces and hearing feedback. I just like seeing everyone’s creativity and how much they’ve improved.”

Feedback, as Gamero mentioned, is one of the most interesting aspects of Art Fest to Thomas Szmrecsanyi, head of South’s art department. Knowing everything that goes on behind the scenes of the event, he treats any new perspective as a breath of fresh air.

“I’ve seen my students work so hard putting on the show,” Szmrecsanyi said. “I don’t see it the same way as other people do. I’m familiar with it, I know the story behind it, so I like it when the public is present and telling me about the show.”

In order to prepare his students for the eyes of the Grosse Pointe community, Szmrecsanyi said he plans several projects in hopes that they will produce results that students can feel proud of. Generally, however, he tries for the most part to stay out of his students’ way so that they can explore their own abilities and interests as much as possible.

“Creativity does not happen unless we provide people with the space and time to do certain things,” Szmr said. “It’s going to be a given that in any art class here that at some point, you’re given a lot of space to do things the way you want to do them.”

This support and creative freedom ensures that any pressures students may be feeling are exclusively self-imposed. As a ceramics ⅚ student, Brooke Lezotte ’23 enjoys the expression she’s allotted but admits that it does come with daunting expectations.

“I’m technically in the highest level I can be in,” Lezotte said. “Sometimes I feel a bit pressured to be making things at this level, but I don’t always feel like I am.”

Nevertheless, Lezotte and the rest of South’s art students have spent the past year working hard on pieces for the school and community to see, and she hopes that all attendees will be mindful of this dedication when visiting.

“At first you might think of it as just a little craft fair, but I don’t think it’s really just that,” Lezotte said. “A lot of the time, it means a lot to the people who put their stuff in there. If your class is going down to look, remember that there are people down there who really care about what they do.”