On Friday, the Massar Gallery space was packed with students for the opening of the “Reflection & Revolution” Upper School student art exhibition, curated by seniors Abbey P.-P. ’20 and Zaynab E. ’20. Hanging on the wall at the front of the exhibition was a statement from the two students, describing the gallery as “a call for liberation through the artwork of minority students.”
The collection of art in the exhibition, contributed by Upper Schoolers across many grade levels, was a thought-provoking look at the Westridge community from the eyes of self-identifying minority students. Their work brought forward a variety of experiences across a broad spectrum of race, gender, sexuality, ability, religion, and nationality.
“More than anything, this project is a way to bring our community's stories to light,” said Zaynab E. ’20. “As artists and active participants of student affinities and diversity groups like Student Voices, this exhibition serves as an interdisciplinary way to discuss the minority experience.”
This exhibition has become an annual project for Zaynab and Abbey, and their show last year (called “On the Margins”) opened to rave reviews from students and faculty alike. “This year,” Zaynab explained, “Abbey and I focused on gathering and communicating with our creators instead of figuring out how to throw together an exhibition from scratch. We also had the chance to work with more underclassmen this year which was especially rewarding.”
The art on display was highly personal, and ranged from poetry and multimedia collages, to oil paintings and three-dimensional pieces. “For me,” added Abbey, “one reason this gallery is so important is that art reaches people in a way that nothing else does. You can present on prejudice in the classroom and in assemblies, but there is something about the personal narrative of creating art that hits people much closer to the heart.”
Above (L-R): Abbey P.-P. '20 and Zaynab E. '20 in front of their gallery statement.