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The Campus Lantern

The Campus Lantern

The Other Life: Faculty art show opens

Richard Li
Faculty artists strike a pose

On October 5th, 2023, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy celebrated the opening of the faculty art show now on view in the Crawford Gallery. The theme surrounding the artwork is ‘the other life,’ and it was curated by retired art teacher Dan Brewer. This exhibition presents paintings from ten faculty artists: Charles Brooks, Dan Brewer, Judy Callas, Pete Capano, Sarah Chavez, Juliet Fajardo, Bridget Farnack, Natalie Navarra and  Irene Yoon. In a setting that is both connected and separated from their teaching practice, these art teachers used mediums such as photography, pottery, collage, digital art, and much more to express themselves. The works make the authenticity of their teaching practice clear.

Sarah Chavez explained how “Photos from my Visual Diary” allow people to have essential conversations about mental health and opposing parts of identity. Her artwork adopts an organization of photography to show her emotional experience. She describes how being a part of the queer community and being Catholic clash. Those two aspects of her identity are almost naturally oppositional in this day and age. In addition, the photos are laid out in the shape of a cross. The marks on Sarah’s forehead represent Ash Wednesday, a Catholic holiday. Her work displays the connections we can make between things inherently oppositional or unrelated.  

This gallery’s true significance is the connections it makes between school and outside life, art and other passions, different media, and parts of identity. These artists and their artworks symbolize preserving the past, treasuring the present, and hoping for the future. They turn trash into beautiful pieces. Sometimes what the world considers trash is just something that is waiting to be reused and improved into new items.

These pieces represent the diversity in SCH and how the school creates opportunities for everyone to show their talents. What this means to SCH is that the school wants every member of the community to be able to “show and tell” what is part of who they are. Furthermore, they make ways for those people to teach others about things they would not have learned otherwise. Artwork, like self portraits, becomes a possibility to see others how they see themselves, and pieces like pottery become opportunities to preserve memories to make them permanent. 

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