Fall term came to a close only two weeks ago. Students hurried packed suitcases
which they hauled to buses and cars, beginning the short, or long, journey home. On
the bus to Boston Logan, I realized that fall 2014 was my last fall at Exeter. On one hand,
its bittersweet as I’m one term closer to graduation; on the other, I’ve become
even closer to my friends at PEA and taken one of my favorite courses at Exeter so far:
Art 444 is an intensive and advance student art class. Students who qualify for
Art 444 have extensive experience in a medium: ceramics, painting, photography,
drawing, fashion, etc. In a short ten weeks, students propose and create a project
where they get to explore their medium. At the end of the term, the 444 kids put on a
show in the gallery. It’s supposed to mimic the gallery openings in Boston or NYC. All
of our hard work, of hours laboring in the student, stressing over perfecting our art,
comes down to this one night: the Show.
I have to say, as nervous as I was, I really enjoyed the 444 show. I got to share
my art with the wider Exeter community. I’m a drawer and ceramicist by trade. So for
my project, I created a set of plates and carved fairy-tales into them. I loved being able
to incorporate my passion for art with my passion for language and literature. What the
experience all the better, was I stood by my exhibit during the show. I got to interact
with peers, parents, and faculty and share my art with them. I explained my concept to
them and they commented on it. It was Harkness on a smaller scale as we talked about
craftsmanship, illustration, and storytelling.
Of all the little things that made the show memorable, the infamous Art 444
survey took the most effort. Each artist fills one out and hangs it next to their artwork.
The survey asks supposedly simple questions: favorite color, purple; favorite artists,
Winsor McCay, the grandfather of cartons; place you’ll live in thirty years, Berlin or
Moscow. After spending upwards of twelve hours a week in a studio, I never thought
the most frustrating part of the course would be trying to capture myself on paper.