Broyles Art Show allows faculty of all departments to show off talent

Faculty from all disciples of Westminster spent their summers creating pieces that involved painting, photography, and even sculpture for the faculty art show. The show allows students to see what their teachers have been up to, and how they create art in their spare time. This year, the show showcased the work of not only faculty from the visual arts department but also from the whole school.

“This particular exhibit was different than all of the others because if you are not a professional artist you could still enter the show,” said AP 2D design teacher Pamela Martinez.

Sculpture teacher Amy Wentzel proposed that this year, it would be interesting if the show could include faculty who consider themselves to be artists. Martinez, who curated the show, believes that such collaborations contributed to the great success of the show.

“I think the difference this year that sets it apart from years in the past is the combination between the professional artist and the self-taught artists,” said Martinez.

Martinez has been curating for about 15 years, and has never seen a show quite like this year’s Faculty Art Show.

Martinez, who has a piece in the show called Portrait of the Holy Spirit, explores the relationship between religious art and the contemporary person.

“I really love going to church but I don’t always love the artwork found in churches,” said Martinez. “I wanted to make a new language that connects to me as a contemporary person. I wanted to make religious art that was interesting for people like myself who like contemporary aesthetics.”

When curating, Martinez was especially inspired by Jennifer Baker’s series, which explores a different approach to dollmaking.

Middle School art teacher Jennifer Baker creates dolls with the goal of instilling qualities of compassion and a knowledge of diversity to those that play with them.

“When children play with dolls, they learn to become nurturing human beings,” said Baker. “It was important for me to have a diverse collection of dolls so that if a child were to brush the hair of a doll, they would start to feel the emotional connections that maybe a mother or father would feel.”

Baker’s dolls are especially unique due to their originality and how they contrast with the standard ideas displayed in mainstream dolls.

“In many ways, the collection was ahead of its time,” said Baker. “The thing that was special and unique was that we took pictures of real women so if you look closely at the faces you’ll see that each doll has specific facial features instead of just having the same face.”

Baker’s work received many accolades, including mentions in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and on television.

Physics teacher Ken Gibson shows that not all pieces come in a two-dimensional form. His piece, “Three-Legged Stool,” is made from crabapple and walnut wood. Gibson plays with sculpture every summer and was able to present one of his creations at this year’s show.

“Every summer I do a piece of art usually when I’m up in Vermont,” said Gibson. “Sometimes I make sculptures with marbles, sometimes bronze-casting, and I’ll even weld.”

This summer, Gibson worked with an interesting tool, the chainsaw.

“I was with a group and we were doing chainsaw sculpture, and this incredible piece of walnut was in the back of a pick-up truck with an old lady,” said Gibson. “Once I took the bark off I realized that I couldn’t cut this up.”

Gibson’s piece is one of many that involved faculty from all walks of life at Westminster.

“The major difference this year that makes the show so incredible is the combination of professional artists and the self-taught artists,” said Martinez.

“Scientists and artists are always looking for patterns, symmetry, and balance,” said Gibson.  “These are all science terms as well as art terms.”

Another aspect of the show that is unique to Westminster is that it is open for anyone to enjoy. The show is currently held in the Broyles gallery area in between the Campus Center and Kellet Theater.

“It was really cool to see some of the art that my teachers have created,” said junior Kate Lindgren. “I really love Ms. Martinez’s spiritual piece and the pieces Ms. Allen created from driftwood.”

Currently, the Faculty Art Show is the only opportunity that all students have to see their teachers’ work. The show gives faculty the opportunity to showcase their lives outside of school and how they are more than just teachers.

AP 2D-Design student Damaris Zamudio is especially inspired by the show.

“It’s so awesome to see pieces from art teachers in other divisions of the school and who teach different subjects,” said Zamudio. For example, I’ve worked with Matt Spaulding before in Discovery, and his landscape photography that’s in the show is breathtaking.”