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South artists, photographers are chosen to feature work at CSL Student Art Exhibition

South artists, photographers are chosen to feature work at CSL Student Art Exhibition

Through the use of visual arts, the 27th annual CSL Student Art Exhibition showcased the creativity and talent of students from schools in the Chicago Suburban League (CSL). The exhibition took place at The Art Center – Highland Park from April 11-22. 

GBS students were among the artists who had their work displayed at the event. According to Art teacher Natalie Ingaunis, each of the four art teachers at South selected 10 to 14 pieces to be displayed at the exhibit.

“I look for some of the best work of my students because I want the school to shine when it is compared with all of the other schools in the gallery,” Ingaunis said. “I look for a variety of different techniques and media that the students have used in class.”

Senior Dana Grad had her oil painting, titled “Keep In”, displayed at the exhibit. She says that this piece shows a hand on a fence, and that is special to her because it connects to her life.

“[The piece] represented how I separate a lot of my emotions and [how] I keep [them] very private,” Grad said. “I keep myself reserved, and I feel like I am kind of on a different side of a fence as everybody else.”

Junior Paola Santos-De Soto had her ceramics piece put into the exhibit. According to Santos-De Soto, her piece was a marionette and base that was modeled after ceramics artist Calan Ree.

“I actually got to talk to [Ree],” Santos-De Soto said. “She actually gave me a lot of tips and advice on how to create [the piece]. She was actually very, very happy. It inspired her too which is kind of great.”

Ingaunis believes that it is valuable that artists are able to communicate their ideas to others when their work is displayed.

“Usually, we make art as a way to give voice to our visual ideas, so it’s extremely important to show the work,” Ingaunis said.

While having the opportunity to show others their artwork was one benefit for the artists, according to junior Grace O’Malley, getting to view the art of others from different schools was valuable.

“When your work is displayed, it gets you out there looking at your artwork and leads to you looking at other people’s artwork,” O’Malley said. “It gives you inspiration to different things you can do.”

Like O’Malley, junior Clare Curtis felt that it was inspiring to see the exhibit, but she believes that it can be overwhelming as well.

“It’s an amazing show to go to,” Curtis said. “It’s overwhelming and exciting at the same time because it’s three or four huge rooms filled with amazing artwork that is so creative, inspirational [and] thoughtful. It’s just overwhelming to see everything that everybody can do, but it’s also nice to see that you were chosen to be a part of that beauty that was there.”

Santos-De Soto said that one piece especially caught her eye when she went to the exhibit.

“It was a frog eating the head of a person, but they both are kind of deformed,” Santos-De Soto said. “It was just the most incredible piece I think I have ever seen. To have a student make that was just really, really shocking and super inspiring.”

Curtis thinks that this exhibit is unique because it unites artists of different schools in the area.

“I think it’s special because you are pulling the best of the best of all of these schools and just to bring it all together makes everyone that is involved feel special and inspired,” Curtis said. “It’s a new way of seeing work from your peers.”

According to Ingaunis, the feedback that the GBS art program has received from the exhibit has been positive.

“I got quite a bit [of feedback] from teachers of other schools and parents,” Ingaunis said. “They loved the work. They think that as a whole GBS looks really strong in our art production.”

After being a part of the exhibit for the first time this year, Santos-De Soto said that this experience has increased her passion for art.

“It was a great experience,” Santos-De Soto said. “I would do it again in a heartbeat.”

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