Teacher is featured artist-in-residence at Glen Echo Park

By Jessica Hirsch, Online Observations Editor and Amna Farooqi, News Editor

Alexandra Michaels, who has taught at CHS for the last three years, is being featured as the Artist-in-Residence at Glen Echo Park for the month of September. Her work will be featured in a gallery setting called Yellow Barn for those interested in various expressions of art.

“This is my exhibit for September on weekends and holidays,” Michaels said. “It’s a great opportunity to paint and work in. It provides people an opportunity to see something different, that they’ve never seen before.”

Michaels was selected from a pool of applicants earlier this year in May, and has been preparing for her show ever since. She has set up an extensive exhibit with several series of paintings and other media, such as sculpture.

 “[Preparing for it has] been a lot of work,” Michaels said. “This is the largest retrospective of my [career]. I’m honored they selected me for September.”

The work featured in the festival includes paintings which reflect her values, beliefs and thoughts. Pieces include a dress series, a visceral series, a watercolor series and a grid series she recently started. These series are a group of paintings with similar concepts or schematic design.

“I respond most to the dress series,” Ceramics teacher Brendan Roddy said. “For such a simple design it just holds such a deep conceptual meaning. It’s something you can leave with.”

Many students attended the event to support and encourage Michaels for her success as not only a teacher, but an artist.

“I love it,” senior Alex Zohore said. “It’s so emotional and honest; it’s mind-blowing. It’s beautiful [and] she’s putting herself out there. All the work makes sense together.”

According to ’10 alumna Halsey Berryman, being featured in the festival is a step forward for Michaels and an excellent way to get more recognition. Although this is not Michael’s first showcase, it is her biggest one to date. Many in the CHS community have shown their support for Michaels.

“She was nervous,” Roddy said. “It’s hard to put yourself out on display. It opens you up to critique. It’s scary. I’m very proud [of her].”

According to Michaels, she has been creating art her entire life. As a teacher, she has also inspired students to use art to express themselves.

“I would like [students] to find their own path in art, learn from me [and from] themselves,” Michaels said.