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Dublin High School Winter Arts Showcase Continues through February 16

February 9, 2018

DUBLIN, CA–There is a quiet, yet special event at Dublin High School that was survived and thrived over the years. It is a simple celebration of the arts that spotlights artwork from DHS students. One purpose of this event is to shine a light on the artistic craft of students that have chosen to feature their work in various forms of media. With the multitude of events – often converging across the academic calendar, it is important that we highlight this meteor across the sky – an event that will only run through February 16th in the “N” cluster of campus during lunch period.

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Let’s take a step and understand the genesis of this program. We reached out to Visual Arts Instructor, Noel Sollom to gain a baseline of understanding. Noel explained that The Winter Show has been a part of the Visual Arts Department for as long as the DHS Gallery has been operational- since 1986. Having an on-campus gallery has been an incredible resource for students. Not only is it a space to celebrate and display student achievement, but it also functions as a classroom for learning about curatorial practice, professional art display techniques and becoming a patron of the cultural arts.

DSC_0332One of the featured student artists is DHS junior Amritpal Dhillon. Amriptal has many future aspirations. A major portion of this includes his desire to ultimately enlist with the United States Navy to fulfill the position of a fighter pilot. While we applaud his long-term goals, we also need to acknowledge his immediate contributions to the Winter Show. Amritpal has utilized stated classroom time in addition to his personal time to accomplish his contributions to the show. He shared that he often finds solace in devoted efforts in non-academic segments – often in a moment to find peace away from his daily responsibilities. Some of his images are shared in this post.

In this segment, we have reached out to Noel Sollom for his direct feedback.

OneDublin.org: As a Certificated Staff Member, explain how and why you elected to continue to foster the Winter Show tradition.

DSC_0335Noel Sollom: “When I was a student at DHS, the gallery had a profound impact on me. The value and care invested in the perfect display of artwork was unlike any other part of high school. Instead of mass-produced desks in arbitrary grids and standardized multiple-choice tests, the gallery offered a refreshing attention to each individual artist and artwork on display. I think that for many students, including those who best express themselves visually, school can be a difficult place to feel validated. That the gallery has continued for over thirty years speaks to the powerful recognition student artists feel when they are part of a show.”

OneDublin.org: Please articulate your strategy to include all elements of the DHS Arts Department. And did you solicit works from students outside of the arts

Sollom: “When I returned to DHS as a teacher in 2011 (after graduating in 2005) I was saddened to see that in the course of moving to the new classroom facilities, the old DHS Gallery space had been demolished without a clear plan for replacement. As my teaching role shifted from English to the visual arts I worked with Mark Pignolet, DHS ceramics teacher and department head, to recreate the dedicated space the gallery had once occupied. The result has been a series of student shows in an ad-hoc classroom space on campus. Unfortunately, we are still advocating for improvements such as track lighting and white walls so that artwork can be shown to its full effect.”

OneDublin.org: What was the general reception by your own Visual Arts students? In what ways did you motivate them to contribute?

Sollom: “Our current show is a collection of student work from across campus. We opened the gallery to any student, regardless of their enrollment in an on-campus arts class. The result is pretty amazing: the work I received is highly skilled, emotionally evocative, and presents sophisticated messages. There are explorations of identity, implicit critiques of authority, and celebrations of diverse religious and cultural backgrounds. These themes are not the result of classroom assignments- they are what our students really care about.”

OneDublin.org: Anything else that you would like to add?

Sollum: “My role as a teacher and curator is to foster those kinds of art-making. Too often, students come into my classroom saying that they aren’t creative or that they aren’t an artist. This show, like our other exhibitions, proves that our students at DHS are artists, and that they have deeply meaningful things to express.”

OneDublin.org would like to thank both Noel Sollom for his insights into the Winter Show history and its meaning to the DHS legacy. We would also like to thank DHS Junior Amritpal Dhillon for sharing his insights that reveal his vision into his artwork. OneDublin.org would encourage all community members to make it a point to view all of the student-contributed in artworks in the N-Building. All pieces are available to view during each lunch period through Friday, February 16th. Please visit during this time or make arrangements to view directly by contacting: sollomnoel@dublinusd.org

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