SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5TH, 2020

Although Palo Alto cannot count on its April showers to bring May flowers, Palo Alto High School’s visual arts department has had a blossoming month and looks forward to more progress ahead. After students participated in the annual California State Thespian Festival they look ahead to One Acts, Palo Alto Art Center’s annual art show, an end-of-the-year theatre showcase and finishing up Advanced Placement (AP) art portfolios.

During the last weekend in March, Paly’s Thespian Troupe 909 took part in the annual California State Thespian Festival. Events included All California Production, Individual Events (IE), Scene and one-act competitions, All Festival events (includes All State, Playworks and Play Marathon), Thespian Student State Officer Elections, Scholarships and Workshops.

On March 27, 20 out of the 45 Paly club members were part of the approximately 1,200 other Thespians in attendance.

“Many students achieved statewide recognition during the weekend,” Kathleen Woods, theatre teacher at Paly, said.

Paly sophomore Kathy Yan took home one statewide first place for Lighting Design IE. Other accomplishments include a title for main stage Play Marathon performance spot for the student written, student directed short play “Behind Closed Doors” and eight students in the All California production of “Hello! My Baby.”

Next month the Paly theatre has more to look forward to with their debut of One Act plays. This student produced show is sponsored by the Thespian Club and runs at 7:30 p.m. May 7, 8 and 9 in the Haymarket Theatre. Theatre one and two will be putting on shows at the end-of-the-year Showcase in the Haymarket on Tuesday, May 19 at 7 p.m.

“Each student will perform and the material is widely varied; the evening includes comic scenes about the trials of dating as well as more serious presentation of scenes from The Laramie Project,” Woods said.

The visual arts department has a bountiful upcoming month as well. Palo Alto Art Center will be having their annual art show May 2 to May 24 with an opening reception for students and their parents from 4 to 7 p.m.

“It’s quite a large show,” Kate McKenzie, art teacher at Paly, said. “Each district instructor probably features about 20 to 30 pieces. I will probably hang around 35 pieces.” 

McKenzie will attempt to hang one work from every AP art student as well as some other “technically  and creatively impressive, unique or creative work from the school year”

As noted by McKenzie, a Paly Art student’s art is featured on the cover of the event’s invitation.

The last quarter brings end-of-the-year AP art portfolios for both art and photo students.

“Right now, we’re frantically resequencing our concentrations and adjusting our concentration statement and descriptions of individual photos, mostly deleting things to get under the character limit,” Danielle Bisbee, a junior and an AP Studio Art student, said.

AP Studio Art portfolios is a three part portfolio, including concentration, quality and breadth.

“Concentration is a series of 12 images that explore a certain idea,” Bisbee said. “It’s been really interesting to see how everyone’s concentration idea, sequencing and compositions have changed.”

As the school year comes to a close art students reflect on their work by gathering their art together in portfolios, showcases and competitions.

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