Once a year, the Whitman gymnasium is converted from a sweaty basketball court to a sophisticated gallery that showcases hundreds of works of art.
Whitman will host the 49th annual Festival of the Arts May 2 and 3. The festival displays the work that art and music students have accumulated over the school year.
Since the festival is almost a month earlier this year than it usually is, students have had much less time to prepare quality work than they usually do.
“People in AP art have to develop a stronger work ethic, even by AP standards,” said senior Alex Cho, who takes both AP Studio and Commercial Art.
Many students in Commercial and Studio classes have to either do work at home or come in at lunch or after school to finish work, he added.
“It’s a little more stressful because it’s more pressure to get just as many projects in,” said junior Cara Coffin, who takes Ceramics 3. “But it also won’t be as stressful as last year because last year, we had to clean up really quickly that night to get ready for prom.”
Another benefit to an earlier festival is that students who are taking the AP art exam don’t have to send off their five best pieces to the AP exam board until later that month, which means they can show them at the festival. The AP exam requires a lot of their pieces to follow a common concentration or a theme.
This year, ceramics worked on larger-than-life sculptures, with students taking average, everyday objects and enlarging them with cardboard. Coffin teamed up with junior Maria Szczesny to make a giant rotary telephone. Other students made headphones, scissors and other common objects.
The Studio Art classes have a variety of new pieces, from giant self-portraits to multimedia paintings that represent a single word such as “energy,” “serenity” or “fragmented.”
Commercial Art students will display shoes they designed for the annual Vans shoe design competition. The shoes follow four different themes: music, sports, art and community.
Festival of the Arts is not just about the visual arts. Women’s chorus will perform some well-known songs, including “For Good” from Wicked and “Over the Rainbow” and will team up with Men’s chorus to perform “With a Little Help From My Friends” by the Beatles.
Although artists and musicians will have to do more work to put the festival together these next few weeks, most students seem confident that they will be able finish on time.
“We work ten times harder,” AP art senior Kevin Whitmeyer said. “We go hard, in the paint.”