Imagine spending a couple of years working towards a project that will be on display for your whole community to see. Now, imagine you are only 17 or 18 years old, and you are sharing a body of artwork that is personal statement of who you are. That is the heart of a Senior Portfolio Art Show, a celebrated tradition at Colorado Academy for decades.
Every Wednesday, during the last three months of the school year, students and faculty flock to the Ponzio Arts Center to tour its gallery walls, looking at the work of our graduating Seniors. Each week, a different group of artists opens their exhibition. As a group, they are in charge of their marketing, planning, design, and installation of their exhibition. They must make the exhibition happen, as well as support each other through the entire creative process of making each work of art.
I have had the honor of supporting artists through this process at CA for the past 13 years. They have been working alongside one another in the Ponzio studios for months. Some of them have been dreaming of their exhibitions since they were in Middle School. An experience does not get any more “real world” than this. The artists encounter creative blocks on a personal level and face obstacles as a team. They quickly realize that it is not always easy to work as a group of individuals who must also address the needs of every artist in the group.
Every artist is nervous about putting themselves out there. They feel vulnerable and judged, being on public display. My favorite part of watching these young artists go through this process is seeing their courage in finding their voice and seeing their pride as our community celebrates them.
What’s coming in 2021
We have exciting news in 2021. This will be the first year we have six artists who have worked solely in clay. Alecia Maher began our formal ceramics program three years ago, giving these six Seniors the opportunity to pursue just this one medium.
We are also proud to announce that we have found a way for in-person exhibition openings to take place this year. Each group of artists will exhibit over a two-day period. This will allow both the Mustangs and Rockies cohorts to visit the show in a safe and socially distanced manner. Our shows are usually crowded, so the art faculty will be at the door, letting people in at a safe pace.
We look forward to seeing you in the Ponzio Arts Center Gallery in 2021. Please take a look at these short videos previewing the work of two of our artists, Aaron Rice and Bryn Taplin.