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“Creating Communities” Group Attends Armory Art Show in New York City

Group of students on the 2023 Creating Communities trip.

It’s no secret that the artistic community at Westminster is one of the strongest and most popular aspects of the school. From musicals to ceramics, hundreds of Upper School students participate in various forms of art. One of these organizations is the Creating Communities group. Composed of juniors and seniors, most of whom are students in an advanced art course, the group is an application-based program aimed at exploring art outside the classroom as well as bringing it to campus. This September, several Upper School students took part in a trip to New York City as members of this group.

Throughout the school year, Creating Communities focuses on exploring art outside the classroom by taking part in Atlanta’s creative community. They attend several artistic events around the state, such as participating in an art talk at Jackson Fine Arts during Atlanta Art Week. When they are not at these events, they can often be found bringing art to the Westminster campus. Each spring, they work together to create projects for the campus that the Westminster community can experience. All of their work throughout the year ultimately culminates in an annual trip where students travel across the country to attend major international art events. In the past, they have attended events such as the Art Basel show in Miami and the city-wide Prospect art triennial in New Orleans.

The most recent Creating Communities trip took place in September of this year, when members of the group traveled to New York City to attend the Armory Show. The event is an international art fair that showcases the top contemporary and modern artworks from galleries around the world. The 2023 show displayed artworks from 225 of the most prestigious art galleries, representing over 800 artists from 35 countries. The pieces are typically split into five main categories: galleries, solo, focus, presents, and platform. Galleries, which are the fair’s main attraction, feature both dual-artist and solo-artist works from many different artists. While the solo section focuses on the works of a single prominent artist from the 20th or 21st century, the focus category is dedicated to artworks that center on voices that are underrepresented in the art community, and the presents section boasts a display of new and emerging galleries. Finally, the platform section displays large-scale artworks that adhere to the theme of Rewriting Histories. Unlike most conventional art fairs, all the artwork at the Armory Show is for sale. Additionally, due to the crowd that the fair attracts, many additional artistic events appear during the fair, from pop-up art stands in the streets to theatrical shows. 

“It kind of has this ripple effect on the community,” says Ben Steele, an Upper School art teacher. “It creates a temporary moment in time where this artistic community that is across the world is brought together for one weekend.” 

Outside of the fair, the Creating Communities group also attended many other events around New York, including a Jay-Z installation at the Brooklyn Public Library and the Night at the Met. 

“One thing that I hear from a lot of students is ‘I didn’t know there’s so much art out there’” says Steele. “I think in Atlanta, sometimes we’re sheltered from that scale of the art community, which is an ongoing thing around the world. That magnitude of art seems kind of impossible here.” 

Ultimately, the trip seems to have been a transformative and enlightening experience for all those who attended. 

“I’ve seen a number of my students reference a piece that they saw at the show when describing what they want to do with a project”, says Steele. “The trip definitely had a massive impact on who they are as artists and who they will become”. As the school year progresses, members of the group will continue to work to bring art to the Westminster campus, creating installations students should be sure to look out for.

Altogether, the Creating Communities group trip to the Armory Show was nothing short of transformative for the students involved. Participants were not only spectators but also active participants in a worldwide community of talented artists. A combination of experiences both at the fair and at artistic events outside of it have clearly shown the trip to have been an eye-opening experience. Creating Communities represents more than just an artistic group; it is a movement that is fueled by the students’ shared passion for the arts. Through art installations on campus and trips around the nation, Creating Communities has worked to remind students of the importance of art in our lives.


Edited by Evvie Morgan

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