Fine Arts Week Blooms Across Campus

Nicholas Hung, Staff Writer

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Jam-packed with performances and events, Fine Arts Week, from March 18-22, emerged as another exciting showcase of the arts and a testament to the visual and performing arts department’s growth. Kicking off with lunch performances by Dance Company, Dance 3 and Portola Singers, the week ended with a packed fine arts assembly on Friday.

Following this year’s theme of “Bloom,” performances and displays across different disciplines created a comprehensive representation of fine arts at Portola High. As a whole, VAPA worked together to collectively decide on a theme, with a focus on student body interaction, rather than just showcasing talents.    

“We really wanted Fine Arts Week this year to be more interactive,” VAPA department chair and dance director Samantha Gardner said. “Rather than just the student body watching our students perform, actually having the chance to experience art I think really made an impact.”

For the entirety of Fine Arts Week, the art gallery in the Student Union displayed a more expansive exhibit than last year, with additions from Ceramics, AP Art Studio, Computer Graphics and many other new classes. Select pieces were honored with the first annual Fine Arts Week Visual Arts awards, with categories such as “Faculty Choice,” “Best in Show” and “Honorable Mention.”

Visual Arts Club also hosted its first ever Night of the Arts on Feb. 22, a celebration of all the arts on campus, presenting performances of live music, dance and painting. Different VAPA classes promoted their works to students and parents and sold merchandise to support their programs.

“I think people have been excited and impressed as they walk in to see our artwork,” visual arts teacher Kearci Moir said. “A lot of the other art departments are all performing arts, whereas ours is visual, so this is our one big show. Last year made me sad that we didn’t really have any opportunity for parents to come and see student work, so we were really excited.”

Planning the entire week around a central theme also allowed the VAPA staff and ASB fine arts commissioners to approach this event with a focus on growth and improvement from last year.

“We’re trying to work in [our theme] with everything we do…it’s affected our attitudes because we’re all working to grow and bloom to a more mature artistic expression of ourselves,” fine arts commissioner and junior Sunny Song said. “It’s really been worth it because it’s really rewarding to see everything come together and have everyone really be able to share their passions with the school.”

Song said the success of this year is a sign of constant improvement and expects to keep it up for next year.

“I’m looking forward to seeing more people join the VAPA department and seeing it become more central to the school’s pride and just getting everybody more excited about the arts in general,” Song said.