Jingle Bells, Beckman Sells

How did Beckman’s first ever Holiday Arts Festival turn out?


Angela Zhang, Staff Writer

On Friday, November 30th, the arts department put on a holiday-themed arts festival to raise funds for revamping the hospital wing.



From four to seven p.m., visual and performing arts students manned booths that featured handmade, original artwork crafted by the students. Photography students sold their best photography prints, graphic design students sold avant-garde designs they brought to life, and art students created holiday-inspired illustrations to suit the theme of the festival. Performing arts students, including choir, drama, and orchestra, gave spirited performances that added to the overall festive mood.



“We decided to create the holiday art festival so the Beckman community would have a better understanding of what the students are capable of creating in the classroom,” Ms. Squieri, the art teacher, said. “It was also wonderful exposure for students to understand the planning it takes behind creating a show, especially if they continue their career as an artist after they graduate Beckman High School.”



Most high schools have an art show, but Beckman didn’t have anything like that before. Visual arts students were missing out on an opportunity to exhibit their work, so the teachers decided to give them a chance to share their art in a way that would also benefit the arts department.



“Since I got my laser cutter, we have more ability to create and manufacture products,” Mrs. Manning, the graphic design teacher, explained. “So then we thought ‘oh we could also raise money’, because a lot of the frames in here are getting broken. They fall and the glass shatters.”



The money isn’t just going toward replacing broken objects in the classrooms. It’s also providing funds for renovating the 200’s wing.



“We’re really trying to rebrand this,” Mrs. Manning said, “even the teachers in here are like ‘we love the idea of it being an art gallery instead of the hospital wing’ because the hospital wing is kind of a negative connotation […] Art gallery sounds more pleasant.”



And so, with that goal in mind, the art teachers put their students to work on crafts to sell.



“My students were to create Holiday Cards and Fan Art that would show the level skill in each class,” Ms. Squieri said. “Students also prepared a few days before the festival for face painting so they could become familiar with having a live model to work with.”



Art students, such as Vanessa Ho, a sophomore in art, were able to channel their holiday spirit into festive cards for the festival. Other art students chose to create fan art and custom caricatures to sell, and some even sold their services as face paint artists.



“I drew a Christmas wreath with some lights in the background and the words ‘Merry Christmas’ on the card,” said Vanessa. “I guess what inspired me was the holiday itself and everything that represents Christmas in general.”



In addition to art students, graphic design students were given the task of designing and creating their own products.



Kevin Wu, a junior in graphic design, created colorful, acrylic earrings intricately cut through the use of a laser cutter.



“They’re unique because not many schools have the opportunity to own a laser cutter as well as produce such goods,” Kevin explained. “These are based off of geometric shapes [and the] 1960’s, and we have such a variety. We have these ones, which were made by a friend of mine […] as you can see there’s a lot of detail put into it.”



Outside of art and graphic design, students in photography were given the chance to put their prints on display and make profit from as well. Each of the prints were unique in the photographer’s style and brought something new to the table.



“I like shooting things from different angles,” Sophie Brunel, a photography student in her junior year, shared. “I like making photos look abstract by really zooming in on the image so you can’t really see the whole thing, so you can make it look completely different from what it really is.”



Every art student, whether visual or performing, was able to share something with the attendees of the festival that night. The hospital wing took on a vibrant, artistically-enriched atmosphere filled with the hustle and bustle of an art festival.



“I actually think there was a great turnout,” Sophie said, “It’s better than I expected it to be, and I just really like the entire atmosphere of all the arts coming together and showcasing their work.”



The teachers and students were all happily surprised to see all the people there supporting the arts department.



“The event was spectacular! I was not expecting so many people to show; so when they did, it was exciting!” Ms. Squieri said. “I kept thinking, ‘I can’t wait to do this again next year!’”



The Holiday Arts Festival, the first of its kind, was a success! The students were able raise money to fund the arts department as well as spread the joy of the holiday season through their admirable art. All that’s left is to see what’s in store for next year.