Expressions: Picture Within A Picture

The Arts

By: Quinn Bryant

The annual Expressions showcase opened on March 2nd and has continued to be one of the only opportunities at BSA to showcase all departments in one event, besides the Black History Month Showcase. Even so, the visual arts department year after year has continued to be more tucked away compared to the other art forms.

However, for the first time, the visual arts department was able to be a part of the main stage show. This year the visual arts department opened Expressions.  

Following the visual arts opening piece were many performances and film debuts. The dance department had two performances, one being “Flaws Loading”, choreographed by Da’Shown Rawl, and “Hand (Something) to (Someone)” which was a mix between TWIGS and BSA dancers. The music department showcased its string orchestra and jazz band, and ended the event with a finale showcasing the talents of the entire music department. The senior theater production performed the opening number to RENT. The film department debuted its film “No Rewrite,” along with other short documentary pieces. And one cannot forget the work of the production crew that ran the entire show from behind the scenes. 

According to Visual Arts Department Head Archie Veale, in the past it was never a goal for the department to be in the main show. The visual arts department found other ways to show off their talents during Expressions. There was always the gallery show for the reception after the on-stage performances and the Gala art activities. Other than that, their involvement would vary from year to year.  

Sometimes the visual arts department curated spaces specific to Expressions. They’ve created some installation pieces and decorated areas for the show. “It got to be really tedious and below what the other departments were doing in showcasing their talent,” says Veale. 

As this year’s Expressions came around, Veale asked to have three minutes somewhere in the showcase for the visual arts department. Once that was granted, he turned to the Junior visual artists to brainstorm ideas for how they could fill that time. “I pitched it to the Juniors because the Seniors are too busy, and the underclassmen just are not ready,” says Veale. 

Chloe McNeil, a junior visual artist, stated that the Juniors took inspiration from a photograph by Thomas Stuth titled Louvre 4, which they learned about in Art History. The format of the slideshow was similar to works such as infinite paper and infinity books. Veale added, “We couldn’t do that, but we could do picture within and picture.”

Veale became more excited about the concept when he was able to incorporate the song Infinite Regression from one of his favorite albums, The Fith Exaotic by Quantic. “They had the art inspiration, and I had the music inspiration,” says Veale.  

According to McNeil, each grade had to find and agree on a piece of artwork to inspire their work. It had to be a ratio of 3 x 4, and students had a little over a month to complete it. 

The Juniors chose “The Son of Man” by Rene Magritte, says McNeil, while the Seniors chose the “Garden of Earthly Delights” by Hieronymus Bosc. “We were so mesmerized by it, so it was just the perfect piece to choose,” says Josephine Jernigan-Hardrick, a senior visual artist.     

However, the masterful artworks did not make it in the final product. “We started out with the inspiration piece at the start of each grade, but some pieces ended up getting cut, and it went by too fast. Taking out the inspiration piece gave each piece more time to be seen,” says McNeil.     

When the piece debuted, Veale was glad to see that it actually happened and people saw it. He added that students got to try things they never had done before. “They liked it, so I loved it,” says Veale.

Hardrick expressed, “It looks so cohesive, and I am really proud of all of us.” 

Expressions will continue for many years to come and Veale finally feels as though the visual arts department has found its place in Expressions. “It will become our spot to create some sort of visual to start the show,” says Veale. “We are not necessarily underappreciated, we are just not the most outward department. I feel as though this is exactly what we needed,” says Hardrick.

McNeil hopes “People can see how hard we work and that we are not just drawing with crayons.” 

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