Art students construct ‘tapestries” around campus

Arts

Walking around the campus of KO, students and teachers may notice tape put up on the walls made to look like various different scenes. These impressive installations certainly liven up campus, but why are they there?

The projects, which have been up since the fall, were done by students in art teacher Katie Burnett’s class, Outside the Box. There are three designs in total: a compass in a hallway of CT, waves by the CT fish tank, and an Alcatraz cell on a pair of doors in Roberts Theater (although the last one has been taken down).

Outside the Box is new to the KO art department, and Ms. Burnett describes it as a culmination of different mediums. “It’s not like painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture; it’s a class that encompasses all of those things,” she said. “So I give a theme or a project or an assignment and the students have to solve it in any way they want.” The prompts students are given can be completed using any form of art they want, whether that be coding, photography, drawing, or in this case, tape.

“Outside the Box is different than any other class because you are allowed to express each assigned project in any media you want to explore, even if Ms. Burnett is not very experienced in that certain area,” said senior Lian Wolman.

Sophomore Ava Radmonavich likes the flexibility of the class. “She’ll give us a prompt but we can kind of take it in our own way so she’s not telling us what to do; we can kind of be more creative,” she said.

For this particular project, the prompt was to find a way to temporarily beautify a certain space on campus. “We were trying to get art out into the community and what better way than to start with our own,” said Ms. Burnett. Lian said the process began by looking at examples of using tape to make art. “Each artist’s work we saw used their physical space to bring the tape to life,” she said.

Then students took photographs of different areas around KO that they might want to work with. Afterward, they drew on the photos with sharpies to brainstorm ideas and see which ones work best. “It was just a way to interact with the Kingswood community and beautify places on campus that they thought needed a little extra pizazz,” Ms. Burnett explained.

Ava, who worked on the waves by the fish tank in CT with sophomores Bella Herz and Jaden Paldino, said they chose the space because of how central to campus it is. “It’s kind of a public spot, lots of people walk by there, and the fish tank would fit in the wave so we thought that was a cool idea,” she said. The large spirals they created took three weeks to complete.

The second project, a compass, was made by seniors Lian Wolman and Maeve McDonald. “Our final two ideas were either a compass or a sun,” Lian said. They ultimately ended up creating a compass, and decided the hallway outside of science teacher Tim Allerton’s classroom would work well. “We thought that the area outside of Mr. Allerton’s room would be a great place to work because there is so much open empty space and we thought that the already existing blue in the area would complement the blue tape we used,” Lian said. She also said the height of the project made it difficult to complete; they had to bring two ladders into the hallway each class they worked on it.

Outside the Box has all new students second semester, and Ms. Burnett said she is interested to see what they do with the prompt. “More to come,” she said.