Painting a picture of the Winter Art Show: Getting to know the artists

Over 20 years ago, the Winter Art Show was created to allow students to create original work and experiment freely with various mediums and artistic styles. The show is designed to help students develop their own distinctive artistic voice.
Applicants must have completed two Urban art prerequisites to be considered for the class. After enrolling in the class or being recommended by one of their past Urban art instructors––Visual Arts Chair and Art Teacher Kate Randall or Art Teacher Jennifer Starkweather––seniors are chosen by a blind drawing. The final exhibition is held near the end of the Winter Term for parents, students and friends to view the artists’ creations. The event also includes a performance by Urban’s Jazz Band and provides a plethora of food and refreshments.
These are what some of the Winter Art Show students have to share about their art backgrounds, experiences, and more! These quotes have been shortened and edited for clarity.

August Starr:

What has shaped your art experience?
“I was able to go to Oxbow and [take] a pre-college art course last summer, which is not like most pre-college art classes because it was six weeks and is super intensive. Oxbow was about finding your voice and it was about refining it in a very rigorous and critical way.”

What is your favorite thing about making art?
“Failing. I think that failing is something unique to art and doing creative things in general, and that is what makes it meaningful. [Art] is not the same as academic subjects, and sometimes it is nice to not know exactly where you’re going.”

Mia Smith:

Do you remember how you got into art?
“I started doing [art] because I figured out that there were certain things that I really liked to express about my identity and myself, and also it’s a fun way to just pass time. It’s a form of self-care.”

What is your favorite medium for creating?
“Collage, obviously, because I really like the textural feeling and also I really love the aesthetics of putting things together. I find that collage is part of a puzzle. It allows for a different meaning to come through from pictures that originally had a separate one. So I get to create new meaning out of artwork, which I think is really fun.”

Sasha Carney:

What made you want to sign up for the Winter Art Show?
“I wanted to [sign up] since my sister was able to do it when I was a freshman, and she was pretty good at it. I just thought that the class was really sick and the show was awesome. And I also got very into art once I was at Urban.”

What’s your favorite medium for creating and why?
“Sculpture because I can touch it, I can feel it and it’s a different way to interact with art.”

Rapha Lee:

What made you want to sign up for the Winter Art Show?
“Seeing previous students’ pieces and also wanting to have the opportunity to take on the alternative distinct-focus aspect of the class.”

What motivates you to create?
“Daily interactions. Part of my project is abstracting the dialogue between things like your blankets and things that we do when you’re trying to wake up and stuff like that. The interactions with people that I see every day can become something better and I can turn that into art.”

Eve Young:

What is your favorite thing about creating art?
“I use art as a way to express my and others’ ideas, and as an excuse to explore things and topics that I wouldn’t usually look into.”

What is your favorite medium for creating and why?
“Photography because I love how it captures a moment. My favorite photography is photojournalism and capturing life as it is. I love looking back on photos, and I think that’s why I like photography the most. It feels natural [to] me.”

Jackson Galley:

What previous art experience do you have?
“Outside of school, I work as a designer for a company in Los Angeles. At Urban, I’ve taken one art class freshman year, one sophomore year, I had two my junior year and I’m taking four this year. Those classes range from digital a
rt to the more basic classes like drawing.”

Do you remember how you got into art?
“I remember my brother took a photography class at Urban and he was my role model so everything he was doing I wanted to do. I started taking his camera and going out and taking photos.”

Anna-Priya Gupte:

Who or what is your inspiration for your art?:
“If I had to say one person, I would say my aunt. She works with a lot of textiles and found-materials to create sculptures.”

Emmie Shannon:

What made you want to sign up for the Winter Art Show?
“Last year I met with Kate Randall and she recommended that I apply to be part of the show. I wanted to be a part of the show because it would give me the opportunity to take the ideas that I have and the experiences in my life and put them into a body of work with little restrictions.”

What previous art experience do you have?:
“This past summer, I went to Cow House Studios in Ireland and did a three-and-a-half-week painting program there. The experience at Cow House made me a lot stronger tactically and also helped me to find my style as an artist and really focus on what type of art I want to make and what message I want to send with my art.”