Westwood High School art students worked tirelessly to complete their projects in time for Encounters with the Arts, which took place to rave reviews on Thursday, March 23rd. Encounters with the Arts is a yearly event that showcases work from visual and performing arts classes.
Chorus and Passing Notes member Grace Burke explained, “The cool thing about Encounters is that it’s for all the arts. In the auditorium, people will be playing, in the Little Theatre, there are drama scenes, and in the halls, there’s all sorts of paintings, drawings, sculptures and even screens playing video production movies.”
Advanced Placement Art students had perhaps invested the most time toward event preparation. In addition to working on her pieces in class, senior Shannon Rooney had been in the art room during free blocks and even on Saturday mornings. Rooney is not the outlier. AP students were required to have their concentration completed for the event, with a certain number of pieces “show-ready.” Rooney and others admitted to feeling stressed by the sheer amount of work.
Preparation for Encounters with the Arts differs between classes. Ceramics students worked to create as many bowls as possible for the Empty Bowls Project. Buying a bowl guaranteed a scoop of ice cream, and the proceeds went to the Greater Boston Food Bank.
Chorus students prepared songs like their Frankie Valli medley since the winter concert. The fan favorite a cappella group, Passing Notes, sang “Hallelujah” and “Love on Top.” Because the group only met once a week, Passing Notes members had been under pressure to get ready, whereas the general chorus had been more relaxed, according to Burke.
Band prepared “English Folk Song.” Jazz band practiced “Thunderbird” and “Slo Funk.” Senior Jack Papetti noted that instead of meeting for an hour and a half a week, jazz band had met for three whole hours.
Despite the workload, art students were truly excited about the event. AP Studio Art student Lauren Klaff said, “You see things that were made by people you would never have thought could do that. It’s really enlightening.” Burke agreed, “Arts at WHS never bolster the same sort of support that other activities do, so when there is an opportunity like Encounters, where we can all show up and admire art, it’s really important.”