Annual Lowell High Senior Art Show

If you’re downtown before May 13, you may want to stop by Mogan Cultural Center to view the Annual Lowell High School Senior Art show. Aurora and I attended the opening reception, and we enjoyed the exhibition quite a bit. Painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, and film storyboards packed the small room, creating a snapshot of a dozen young artist’s interests and ideas.

Students view works of art in Mogan Cultural Center

About 40 pieces of art are shown, including a handful of 3-D works.

Some of the pieces represent exercises in technical skill, such as a reproduction of a famous painting. Others are more expressionistic or cartoon-like. Among my favorite media is photography: photography allows the viewer to focus on composition rather than technique. To perhaps oversimplify, the stark realism of a well-composed photograph captures the mood of a single instant in time the way nothing else can, and the couple of pieces on display aren’t an exception. Overall, the exhibit represents a variety of skills levels, but it’s very worth checking out, even if to be reminded of your own time in high school and the freedom of art in an otherwise very restrictive and confusing time of life.

People view artwork at Mogan Cultural Center

I enjoyed how excited kids and their guardians engaged with the artwork, something I don’t often see at a formal gallery.

The centerpiece of the exhibition may have been the collaborative project “The Fabric of Our Lives.” Nearly forty students from the new-immigrants “New Comers” class and a 3-D art class came together with Margot Stage, a visual artist with thirteen years of fabric experience. A grant from the Lowell Cultural Council funded Ms. Stage for a two-week visit to the class.

Many [students] spoke very little (or no) English. But it was amazing to see the students become engaged in the project, creating their portraits and expressing not only what they look like, but also who they are on the inside. -Margot Stage, Artist in Residence

Each self-portrait captured a unique glimpse of a student, but the work formed a larger mosaic to represent the community the students formed. I imagine at least a few of the students had never worked on art like this before. Ms. Stage said that the class is hoping to display the work in other venues before finding a permanent place in Lowell High School.

"The Fabric of our Lives" by New Comers program and artist-in-residence Margot Stage

“The Fabric of our Lives” was a collaborative art project by the New Comers program and Artist-in-Residence Margot Stage.

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