Inside of the art hallway…

By Dehab Deglel, Staff Writer

In a special pocket between the first and second floor of WCHS, there is a stretch of hallway where glossy glass cases of beautiful artwork, hanging ceiling mobiles and wall murals belong. This is the arts hallway, and it is the epicenter of the ceramics, studio art, digital art, photography and fashion classes at WCHS.

The hallway itself features studio art pieces and printed digital pieces in the main glass case. There is also a separate case near Room 274, where students’ ceramics works are featured. On the opposite wall, there is a mural of triangle-shaped paintings from AP Art students’ National Arts Honors Society project, along with a smaller glass case with photography works. Lastly, dangling above are enormous hanging mobiles from the ceiling, which are a result of a collaboration between art teachers in past years.

“I cut paper and mats, put up artwork in the frames, paint signs for the display case and sometimes I cut canvas and organize supplies. There’s usually a lot of stuff to clean up,” WCHS senior Isabel LaMotte said.

Surprisingly, it is not only the art teachers who make decisions about what happens in the hallway. LaMotte is one of the senior Teacher’s Assistants (TAs) in Ms. Tebay’s art class in room 276. LaMotte’s main role is preparing the classroom for students and maintaining the glass display cases right outside the classroom. She also helps with picking artwork and putting them up in the hallway.

“It is visually pleasing, and I always pass by to look at AP art pieces, since they don’t get to show their art as much,” LaMotte said. “It makes me feel happy because now I’m not walking around depressed because I’m going to fail my math test; seeing the art makes my day better.”

When a student passes by the art hallway, it may be hard to determine what criteria is used to select what pieces are chosen. Whether a piece is aesthetically pleasing or best fits the parameters of an assignment is a difficult question to answer. According to LaMotte, it is a mix of both those things. Of course, there is a bit of personal bias, but the residing art teacher will make the final decision, sometimes bringing in new pieces of their choice.

“The TAs usually get to choose the art because the teachers can’t always go through all those pieces,” LaMotte said. “For the print pieces especially, we looked for stuff that would technically be the perfect print—they weren’t see-through or damaged or anything like that. We also made sure to check for anything that had a neat design, which was mostly personal preference. Then, the TA’s made multiple piles and sorted through them to see how many we needed to put up.”

Tebay allows for her TAs to choose the art pieces from recent assignments in class, create signs that identify the different classes and put up the pieces themselves in the hallway. It is not a hard job for them to fulfill, but it can be tedious to go through the assignments. Usually, Tebay will ask her TAs to pick from artworks of her choosing, or she will double check their choices before pieces go up. Tebay wants to prioritize the students who take the art department seriously: the ones who will potentially have a career in arts, like the AP students.

“Those are the AP students’ artwork and I want to keep them up so students get to explore them,” Tebay said. “They are some of the best artworks that’s going to come out of the classes; the composition and coloring, all these factors are a lot more advanced in technique. I feel like it shows the people that are walking by what we can create here.”