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Madison Metropolitan School District

Memorial High School Art Gallery Showcases Student Talent During the Pandemic

While the COVID-19 pandemic closed art room doors last year, Memorial High School art students’ creative minds were wide open. Art teachers collaborated to create virtual curriculum for their students, replacing classroom supplies with Zoom, scanners, and cellphone cameras. Now, the Memorial community gets to witness the incredible ceramics, photography, drawings, and digital art students created from their own homes in the school’s art gallery.

Senior Matthias Van Horn was scanning the brightly lit gallery walls when he saw his own artwork, a detailed graphite drawing of a walrus, featured.

“It's cool to have my art on display at the school,” Van Horn said. “What I like about making art is that it lets me get my thoughts onto paper. I can imagine places and things that don’t exist and share them with others.”

During her Digital 1 art class last year, Gabby Chavez, now a senior, was assigned to make a celebrity caricature using Adobe Illustrator. After finishing the assignment–a perfect vector image of Robert Pattinson–Chavez enjoyed the artistic process so much, she made a bunch more for herself.

“I enjoy the repetitive nature of making them. It's more of an escape for me,” Chavez said. “Find a person, start the sketch, and bring it into Illustrator to vector. It can be stressful at times but that moment when I figure out the right way is when it's amazing. I learn something new everytime I make a new one.”

Located next to the library, the gallery draws in curious students throughout passing periods and lunch.

“I feel proud that my teacher wanted to include it,” Chavez said. “And if the people around the school were to recognize any of the people [in my artwork] and feel happy to see their interests represented in the school, then that would make me a little happy.”