Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
A place of refuge
By Liam Halawith, The Union
Mar. 11, 2021 12:00 am
MT. PLEASANT – The Mt. Pleasant High School art department has changed the format of its annual Youth Art Show. This year the art show was moved to a fully virtual format due to COVID-19 and mitigation strategies and safety concerns that follow with the pandemic.
The art show is normally hosted at the Henry County Courthouse, where artists from high school and middle school exhibit their art as part of Youth Art Month, which is in March of every year.
This year the art show has been moved to a virtual format to help reduce the possible spread of COVID-19 and to help keep students and staff safe, according to high school art teacher Rebecca Bos.
To keep everyone safe and effectively showcase the students' work, Bos, who is currently working from home, and her in-person substitute went to work. They decided that a slideshow with pictures of the work would be the best medium. They chose a Google slideshow, to be able to share the work with community members, staff, and students.
To see the slideshow and congratulate the art students you can visit the MPTV Close-Up Facebook page where they have posted a link to the Google presentation or go to bit.ly/38kRPYZ to see the slideshow.
Although the artists are still being premiered and given online congratulations and feedback it is not the same as an in-person show where you can see reactions and gauge the effects of your work, according to senior art student Justina Movall.
'I don't like it as much because you can't see their reaction, and it's harder to get feedback about our art,” Movall said.
Bos agreed, saying that an in-person opening and a digital premiere do not compare, however it could lead to better discussion.
'The preparation and hanging of work, the anticipation of the viewing and the social aspect of people gathering cannot be duplicated,” Bos said.
'However, it is convenient to have access to the work and to create a digital dialogue as well as documenting the collection for future reference,” she added.
Movall, like many artists, has used their art as a medium to digest ideas and events that have happened over the past tumultuous year.
'I've used more controversial subjects in my art, I talk about politics, and things that are happening right now in all its forms,” Movall said.
'While everyone is feeling the fatigue of being one full year into a global pandemic, Art is a place a refuge. It is always open to those that want to examine, express, and communicate. Art is where it's at,” Bos added.
However, the artists and Bos understand that with a global pandemic and the end still in the future that an in-person showing wouldn't be possible because of safety and that it could lead to some good.
'I believe a lot of students are looking forward to the digital format and seeing where it leads. This is all about breaking fresh ground and seeing where it takes us. While it's always refreshing for an artist to have real-time conversations about their process, the opening only lasts for two hours and the digital format will not have that time constraint,” Bos said.