Arts
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Honoring Your Ancestors Through Art

Two years ago, the Learning Commons said goodbye to the bookshelves on the back wall, leaving room for a few computers as well as some blank wall space. This empty surface would become the canvas for many of CB’s talented artists.  “There was this large, blank wall staring at everyone that needed a little excitement […]

Two years ago, the Learning Commons said goodbye to the bookshelves on the back wall, leaving room for a few computers as well as some blank wall space. This empty surface would become the canvas for many of CB’s talented artists. 

“There was this large, blank wall staring at everyone that needed a little excitement added to it, so [School Resource Coordinator] Mr. Lopez ’08 came up with the idea to show off some student art there” says art teacher Ms. Christine Kerr. The learning commons currently displays 18 incredible works of art from her students.

Last year, Mr. Lopez, Ms. Kerr, CB’s Educational Technology Specialist Ms. Brittany Williams, and art teacher Mr. Findlay McIntosh all brainstormed an art prompt and came up with the theme of “Bucket List”. While last year’s theme was a bit more open ended, this year’s still left plenty of room for creative expression. With the idea of “Honoring Your Ancestors”, students created art inspired by family ties and the individual and unique history of what and where we come from.

“There are all sorts of ways people could find a way to connect [to the prompt] — it doesn’t necessarily have to be your family tree” says Ms. Kerr.

However, some students were still a little stumped. Mr. Lopez came in to help students think outside the box a bit for this one. He gave examples of “Honoring your Ancestors” in contemporary art and how living artists are doing that today.

“[Mr. Lopez] offered us some ideas and inspiration so we weren’t limited to one idea” says Nancy Chavez (’20). “A lot of people were originally confused about the theme. They thought it had to be about your ancestors, but it can also be something that just represents you, a tradition, or anything important to you family.”

Nancy Chavez’s art can be found on the back wall of the Learning Commons.

This year’s theme also gave students the opportunity to learn more about their heritage or family traditions. For her art piece, Nancy used mixed media to express her Mexican and Native American heritage.

“It’s been really cool to see the variety of experiences and ancestors that make up where we come from. It’s a good sample of the diversity we have on campus and our really talented artists from all different backgrounds” says Mr. Lopez.

The art has been a welcome addition to the Learning Commons. Students should keep an eye out for new themes in upcoming years.

“I’m hoping this project will continue because I think it is a good way to get students to think about art in different ways and I love showing off their work.” says Ms. Kerr. “We have exceptional artists at CB and this is a really nice way to show off their art for a longer period of time than the La Salle Art Show.”

We all come from different places. The people, traditions, and cultures that influence identity and beliefs are unique to every individual. If you haven’t visited the learning commons in a bit, swing by and check out the incredible artwork of CB’s brilliant artists.

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