A Night for the Arts to Shine


Nate Taylor

Junior Mona Tavassoli adds finishing touches to the jewelry box time capsule. Each side of the box is dedicated to different important popular figures and symbols along with a side for Portola’s specific local culture. The box was made to encourage students to write down special memories from the decade to be stored and re-opened in the future.

Nate Taylor and Chiara Ng

Soothing jazz flows through the open space as students, teachers and artists wander slowly through the indoor gallery. Student-made paintings, photos, sculptures and videos fill the commons, highlighting the talents of Portola High’s student artists. With each creator’s name displayed by their pieces, the audience is offered a glimpse into the effort exerted for the Night of the Arts.

From Feb. 4-7, Fine Arts Week launched the official celebration of student artists with lunch time activities and events to encourage student participation and awareness. On Feb. 4 , the marching drumline and percussion ensemble performed two pieces they had worked on throughout the semester. Feb. 5 saw the school come together to celebrate the trending songs and dances of TikTok in a friendly competition. Attracted by viral 15-second audio clips played on the speaker, students formed a crowd surrounding the brave few dancing.

“I think TikTok is almost a part of our everyday lives, and it’s important for the school to include that in school events,” freshman dancer and participant Sarah Mou said.

The final lunch time activity on Feb. 6 featured a mix of the choir classes singing the Zulu folk song “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” conducted by student volunteers. With a wave of the baton, students had the freedom to adjust the choir’s dynamics and tempo to their liking. The exaggerated and unpredictable nature of the inexperienced conductors created a challenge for choir students, entertaining the large crowd.

While most students experienced the different aspects of Fine Arts Week as an outsider, the success and diversity of the events can be attributed to careful planning from fine arts commissioner and senior Audrey Chiang.

“We want to make sure all the art students are getting exposure,” Chiang said. “It’s kinda like a way to spread out art with the school so everyone can participate even if they aren’t in the art classes.”

On Feb. 7, the culminating efforts paid off in the school-wide assemblies and the after-school event, giving the artists their own night to shine. The night itself featured a variety of performances from music students, along with the gallery open for attendants to roam. While the event was targeted toward involvement of non-art students and the community, art students appreciated the recognition they had received over the week.

“I think Fine Arts week really contributes more awareness to all the talent in so many artists that have yet to be seen at our school,” sophomore Mckayla Bailey said. “It really shows other students how when given an environment where they can just work and be able to create whatever they want, it can really lead to the development of our school and the art community and how others around school can see how hard people work to make something like this happen.”