The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

First Grades 8-11 Art Show: Student Thoughts and Future Plans

Parents and students observing students’ art at the Grades 8-11 art show. (Andrea Brudniak-Berrocal/International Dateline)


The WIS art department hosted the first ever art show for grades eight through 11 on Wednesday, June 1. The show was open to the public and mostly took place in the AAA building located on the Tregaron campus.

The main focus of the show was for art students to showcase their work from the semester or year without it having to be an IB project.

“When I started as the [art] department chair this year, it was part of my intention to have some sort of an exhibition at the end of every semester,” art teacher Andrea Burk said. “[This way] the students who are in art get to show their work.” 

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Burk and fellow art teacher Ivan Witenstein both teach Middle and Upper School. They plan to showcase students’ art around the school more often to make sure students get more exposure. Burk emphasized that the administration was fully supportive of their goals. 

As this is Witenstein’s first year at WIS, he decided he would try and implement some of the things he saw at Maret, the school he taught at most recently. 

“The place I came from always had student artwork on the walls and it was up to their teachers to put them up, so I just went with what I usually did, and came to find out that it wasn’t really part of the school culture here,” Witenstein said.

Witenstein soon found out that the art on the walls was a total hit and completely changed the atmosphere around campus. 

“Every day I pass all of these artworks,” Witenstein said. “Even though I have seen most of them many times, I learn to think about them every day, and it makes my day brighter and makes me think more deeply about what I’m doing.” 

Image of gallery wall on the second floor of the AAA Building. (Andrea Brudniak-Berrocal/International Dateline)

The art department’s goal is for students to gain more liberty when showcasing their pieces so students feel more in control of their work that is being displayed. 

“Ideally, students will be able to pick one or more pieces that they really liked instead of us just putting up what we feel like putting up,” Burk said. “The students will have more of a voice in the future. It’s one of my visions for [the art shows].”

Students seemed to have a positive reaction to the gallery and were pleased to finally be able to share and look at other people’s works.

“I think [the show] is very nice,”spectator and junior Terrence Williams said, “Everybody has great pieces and I think that it was needed because people need to know that WIS students are very good at art.”

The artists themselves were pleased and very excited to expose what they had been working on. 

William Williamson observing his piece from afar. (Andrea Brudniak-Berrocal/International Dateline)

IB Higher Level (HL) Visual Art student and junior William Williamson spoke about his thought process behind his work and what he thinks about the art show.

“A lot of my stuff comes from architecture camp and studies I’ve done with some friends on architecture,” Williamson said.

Most of Williamson’s work revolves around 3D shapes and different views of perspective painted on canvas. 

IB art student William Williamson’s works displayed in the AAA Building. (Andrea Brudniak-Berrocal/International Dateline)

He also expressed his concerns for people that aren’t able to make it to the art show. “I think there needs to be a digital option for the art show, so parents that were not able to see their kid’s art can look at it online,” Williamson said.

Most students that took any type of art class this year had art displayed in the exhibition. Junior and HL Visual Art student Katherine Lee had a couple of pieces around the halls. One of them was inspired by the Greek myth of Medusa, looking at both sides of the story. 

“Medusa’s story is actually really sad,”Lee said. “It has to do with her getting snakes on her head as she was protecting herself from being raped”.

Junior Katherine Lee’s Medusa painting on display. (Andrea Brudniak-Berrocal/International Dateline) 

Lee wanted people to understand Medusa’s real story versus what people portray her as.

“I think this piece is a representation of how the snakes are actually there to keep Medusa safe, unlike when people think of her as a villain,” she said.

From left to right, junior Lucas Tafara’s work followed by junior Ella Bown’s butterfly piece in the background. (Andrea Brudniak-Berrocal/International Dateline) 

 As the art department seems to be making powerful changes, Witenstein’s goal for putting up work in the halls is for students to appreciate what they are seeing.

“I hope when students and teachers pass these works, they are being enriched by what they are seeing,” Witenstein said. 

By Andrea Brudniak-Berrocal

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Andrea Brudniak-Berrocal
Andrea Brudniak-Berrocal, Print Publications Editor/MS News Adviser

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