IB students showcase art at senior exhibition

The International Baccalaureate (IB) senior art exhibition was held on the weekend of Jan. 13, showcasing curated works that the students had been developing since the beginning of their junior year. The IB program requires art students to display their work in a public exhibition, which is considered a part of their Internal Assessment that makes up 40% of their final grade.  

“We could literally just do [the exhibition] on a wall here, but it’s important to me and Cathy Andrus [Central’s IB coordinator] that [the students] have an opportunity to have what feels like a real show after they put in so much work,” said Libby Cruz, the IB art teacher and organizer of the exhibition. She believes that the students deserved recognition for all that they have accomplished in the class, especially since last year, they dedicated two periods in their nine period schedule to IB art. Although this time has been cut short this school year due to the block schedule, the artists have still spent a significant amount of time dedicated to their craft, and Cruz wished to honor that.  

The exhibition is traditionally held at the Joslyn Art Museum, but with the Joslyn being under construction, this year and last year’s have been held at local art galleries. Last year’s exhibition at Kaneko was successful, however due to circumstance and accommodation issues, plans to hold this year’s exhibition at Kaneko fell through, and Cruz was fortunate enough to have Bill Seidler Jr. of the Bancroft Street Market host the show at the last-minute. 

“Our artwork was on the spotlight, quite literally,” said Chloe Reese, one of the exhibit’s featured artists. “The lighting was not even considered beforehand, but [Seidler] went along himself and did it.” Cruz and her students were grateful for Seidler and the Bancroft Street Market’s ability to adapt the space to fit their needs. Reese also valued the intimacy of the Bancroft Street Market, and enjoyed that the space was, for the duration of the exhibit, entirely dedicated to IB students’ works, as opposed to being one exhibit out of many in a larger gallery.  

Another requirement for the students was that they had to curate their own exhibit. After laying their works out on the floor, shifting everything around to decide what looked best and consulting their peer’s opinions on their layout, the artists hung up and leveled their pieces. Cruz encouraged them to lay out their pieces with intent, and students chose to arrange them based on color, size, spacing and similarities in theme.  

“The medium could’ve been anything,” said Louis Reed, a senior whose exhibit featured acrylic artwork and experiments with clay and resin. Some students stuck with one medium while others explored many. Walking around the gallery, you could find oil on canvas, graphite on paper, photographs, embroidery, pottery, crochet, prints and more.  

The artists were thankful to have gotten an opportunity to display their works in a public art gallery. “Not a lot of students that I know of got to have their artwork put on display in an exhibition like ours,” said Reese.   

“It’s definitely cool to have it up on the wall like an actual museum, instead of just sitting in a drawer. It makes me feel more professional and accomplished,” said Reed.   

A reception was held on Jan. 13, and the art was positively received by the community. Students got the opportunity to share their art and their classmates’ art with loved ones; they could explain the meaning behind their pieces or leave it up to the viewer’s interpretation. With the success of the exhibit, it is certain that the students received the recognition they rightfully deserved.