Seniors in IB Art present work at Exhibition in Black Box Theater

After two years of hard work, the IB Art Seniors exhibited their finished pieces in DePaul College Prep’s Annual IB Art Exhibition. Opening on April 3rd it included the work of 10 seniors taught by Hyunju Park, DePaul Prep’s IB Art teacher. The exhibit was assisted by Heidi Bojorges, the IB Programme Coordinator, and Jonathan Moeller, the IB Film teacher. 

“They helped me with using Black Box theater as an exhibition space and light installation as the school is a complex community.” Through the exhibition, these students were able to showcase their techniques but more importantly the overall themes of their works. 

Park explained that an important separation between IB Art and regular Art classes is students’ opportunity to dive deeper into certain techniques and portray messages through their art. 

“You will learn how to communicate visually as you develop your artistic skills and manipulation of different art materials and mediums while enriching your interests of different cultures and art history, if you are in IB art class,” Park explained.

Developing themes was a key step for many students presenting their work at the Exhibition. Students were expected to create pieces with some element of coherence, either in artistic style or in theme.

“My overall theme was Mental Health. I focused on four different points so I had four colors in my art pieces. My four points were mental health, and anxiety disorder, suicide awareness, and eat disorders,” recounted Clarisse Lorin, an IB Art Senior, who used bright colors to bring a deeper meaning to the conventional ideas around mental health. 

“[I] wanted to do it colorfully because I feel like mental health is always seen as gray and black and white and dull. [I wanted to remind people that through] all that’s happened through mental health there’s still color.”

“We had various art projects that Ms. Park would give us and we would correlate our project to her criteria for the specific project but also connect it to our own exhibition,” explained senior Melissa Hader. This way, students incorporated their themes into their projects. 

Looking back, Lorin reflected on how each individual piece purposefully fulfilled each student theme. “It’s important to how art can be portrayed in many different ways and how each piece can come together even though they may look like they don’t have a connection between them.” She used the acrylics, clay, wire, paper, and newspaper to bring together her theme, drawing specific inspiration from her use of newspaper. “I made a collage of newspapers from the 1960s to present day. It’s mainly newspapers centered in the Chicago area.”

Students also found inspiration from other artists, as Ms. Park states, “Art History plays a pivotal role in discovering and developing their interests and to shape their theme.” 

Hader found special inspiration from Vivian Westwood. “Vivian Westwood is a fashion designer. She would make clothes for the Sex Pistols in Britain. She has a huge influence in fashion.” 

Ms. Park is proud to see her students’ work noticed. “Visual arts is to show and share by seeing and feeling it. Students’ hard work over two years would have been fruitless without showing and sharing, which is the exhibition part of their long journey.” 

IB Art students were also proud of the messages they were able to convey. 

“I think it’s important because the artist got to bring awareness to different issues – there were ones about depression, suicide, addiction. When we bring awareness to these issues it makes people feel like they are not alone or they are not struggling alone. It connects people together,” says Hader, showing that the IB Art Exhibit demonstrates students’ accomplishments but also the pride they take in making a difference through their work.