This year, viewers of CHS’ annual Festival of Arts, held April 28 through May 1, will be able to see presentations from the performing arts classes, have the chance to participate in a silent auction and get to view artwork done by faculty in a special staff section.
The festival will feature one-act plays, instrumental concerts and a choral concert, fusing together the artistic styles of the performing arts classes as they perform, surrounded by work from the visual arts classes, which include photography, ceramics, studio art and more.
According to resource teacher Paul Dermont, the Festival of the Arts has been going on for at least 20 years. Though it has remained relatively consistent over the years, research has been done to improve the festival in 2014.
“This year along with the faculty section, there will be a silent auction and a jury contest to vote on favorite art pieces,” Dermont said. “There will be prizes for the winners including a grand prize of a brunch for four at the Four Seasons Hotel in D.C.”
Voting for favorites will take place every day of the festival, excluding the last day when the winners will be announced.
Molecular genetics teacher Ginny Brown proposed the idea of including a teacher portion to the exhibit, something that was last done a long time ago while the CHS building was under renovation.
“This won’t be the first time the festival will include work done by teachers,” Brown said. “I’m happy that we’re bringing it back as it is really fun to see what people do in their free time; CHS teachers are full of surprises.”
Brown took up quilting in October and has since made seven quilts, ranging from patchwork and square-by-square designs to the more complicated “hunter’s star” and “trip around the world” patterns. In taking up quilting, Brown has found “instant friends” in the faculty who have been able to connect over their mutual admiration for the craft.
Along with about 10 other faculty members, including Dermont, Brown will be submitting some of her own work to be shown in the festival: two quilts and a-count-and-cross-stitch.
“A lot of people view art as something you do in high school, but really it’s something you can do your whole life,” Brown said. “Including teachers’ work to the program adds a certain continuity in that respect.”
Senior Tina Zu, who has participated in the festival the past three years, is one of the many students excited for the additions to the show.
“I love visiting the showcase every spring and bringing my friends because there are always many insanely amazing pieces of art,” Zu said. “Each year, I totally get inspired by others’ work. CHS arts teachers are really fun and creative, so I’d love to see what sort of work they produce.”
For her fourth and final Festival of the Arts, Zu will be submitting a watercolor piece entitled “Head vs. Heart,” which took her approximately four weeks to complete.
“I definitely went through this conflict when deciding on what I wanted to choose as a major for next year,” Zu said. “I found a way to listen to both, my head and my heart. I also let my fellow art students choose the titles and wrote their names down as authors. For that reason, the painting has a touch of nostalgia for me.”
The festival serves as an opportunity for students and teachers to show off their best works as they have developed their artistic skills over the year, while also helping get others interested in the arts. Students and teachers alike, be they artists, art-admirers or those simply looking for a bit of creative inspiration will no doubt take away something positive from the Festival of Arts this year.