As I walked into the open doors of the Harrington Gallery, I was unsure of what to expect.
I had never been in an art reception and had no idea how I was supposed to act. Should I stand by my photograph and answer questions for visitors? Should I enjoy myself and take a look at what other students did? Or should I just sort of stay in the background and let people wander around? These were just a few of the thoughts that ran through my head as the reception started. Despite my anxieties, it turned out to be a light and open event.
On April 20th, 2012, the opened its doors to Off the ChARTs, a gallery of more than 40 works exclusively by , and high school students.
As I perused through the gallery, it was hard not to notice all the variety present: there were oil paintings to photographs and digitally created works to political cartoons. There was an atmosphere of a sort of fresh nature as all these new works were presented to the public for the first time. It just felt nice to be in an environment full of creativity and artistic genius. Perhaps the refreshments had something to do with that as well. I was surprised at the number of people who decided to visit the gallery.
The art wasn’t just limited to a small portion of the city: it was open to a large variety of individuals. There were at least 100 people who went in and out of the building when I was there. I wasn’t expecting to see so many students as well. The majority of attendees seemed to be children, from elementary to high school. It was nice to see all the different types of people who attended. There were some art students who were scribbling down notes on works they found interesting.
A small Dixieland Jazz Band named Louisiana Hot Sauce and composed of Foothill students provided entertainment in the foyer. They were a very well- versed group and the music was a big contrast with what most people listen to these days. The jazz was very refreshing though and they attracted a small audience that would roar with applause whenever they finished.
Everyone seemed to know each other at the reception. No one was afraid to ask questions and I often saw parents inquiring about certain works or artists talking with other artists about their stories and how they came into the arts.
I was very impressed with the works in the gallery. Many of them gave interesting and unique perspectives on how to view the world. Some of the works focused on nuanced details and presented them in a completely different way that made me appreciate them more. For example, there were some that gave a different take on what it feels like to be mentally trapped or the values that our culture imposes on us today.
I recommend everyone to take a look at the gallery, which runs from April 20th to May 5th.
There’s plenty of art there for everyone to take a look at and perhaps discover a new perspective on life. All it takes is a little bit of thinking and interpretation and art can quite possibly open a new door for you.