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Festival of the Arts displays student artwork, music

The gymnasium and cafeteria buzzed with excitement as student artists and musicians displayed their work for the annual Festival of the Arts May 2 and 3.

A student admires the artwork during the festival May 2. Students of all grades displayed artwork they had been working on all year. Photo by Paula Ospina.

The festival, which was featured on Fox Morning News May 2, included artwork, photography, bands and performances by the music department. Fox News spoke to two students, coordinator Wendy Kleiner and vice principal Jerome Easton after a parent committee arranged for local news to cover the event, Kleiner said.

Though this year’s festival was several weeks earlier than it’s been in past years, students and teachers were prepared and were satisfied with the outcome.

A new feature of this year’s festival is an artist statement, where artists display a picture and blurb about their personality and why they’re passionate about art next to their work,  chairman Nancy Mornini said.

“Sometimes you know a student’s face, but you don’t know their name,” she said. “Now that there’s a picture there, you can go ‘oh wait – I know that person; they’re in my class.’”

Coordinator Wendy Kleiner said she was thrilled with the art displayed in the program.

“I think the work here is unbelievably fabulous,” Kleiner said. “To have the general public realize that high school students are capable of that level of sophistication was very exciting for me.”

Many art teachers showcased some of their own work in the weight room. Photography teacher Michael Seymour’s photograph featured former Pyle instrumental director Frankie Ball, who passed away four years ago.

“When I was able to capture him I realized how important photography is,” he said. “That picture was when I started loving photography.”

Musicians in the festival were also passionate about their work.

Freshman Sebastian van Bastelaer, who sang in the freshmen chorus, said the concert was a fulfilling way to end the year.

“It’s fun not only to be able to perform in front of family and friends in a new venue, but also to have an opportunity to perform at the showcase of artistic talent at Whitman,” he said.

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