When the Center for the Arts was originally constructed in 2003, Highland's artist-in-residence Karen Stinnett, who retired in 2020, insisted on a dedicated gallery space for student works.
"The gallery changed the way we were able to show students’ works," Ms. Stinnett said in an article in Highland Magazine. "Hanging artwork on a bulletin board is not the same as hanging artwork in a gallery. Showing your artwork is the same as performing a play instead of just learning the play."
"Art is about communicating. For an artist, there’s so much more to get from showing your art than just creating it," Ms. Stinnett continued. "Showing is like performance for introverts. People are looking at what you did, not you directly."
Exhibits in the gallery throughout the year
In September, the gallery typically plays host to one of the most prominent shows of the year. In 2014, Highland faculty created an exhibit to honor and feature the artwork of former Highland student and alumna Elizabeth Finley Broaddus '14 who passed away in 2014 from a rare form of liver cancer. The show offered family, friends, and faculty a unique opportunity to experience a unique collection of Finley's drawings, paintings, and photography and remember and reflect on Finley's impact on the Highland community and beyond.
Student shows are held in November and March and typically coincide with Upper School performances in The Rice Theater, which is adjacent to the art gallery. Student shows are open to any Highland student from Kindergarten to Grade 12 and are a great opportunity for parents to see their student's art in a gallery setting.
International Week in January and February
In January and February, faculty members use the gallery space to highlight the country that is the focus of that year's International Week. In 2014, students learned about Russia to coincide with the Winter Olympics held in Sochi. In 2015, students focused on Brazil, which had hosted the World Cup soccer tournament and will host the summer Olympics in 2016. In 2015, the focus was on Turkey. This year, students are learning about Greece.
The school year ends with shows focused on advanced art students from the Upper School and alumni work. Students in our Advanced Placement (AP) classes showcase many of the pieces that make up their portfolios of work from these rigorous college-level courses.