Our middle school has the only student run art gallery in the Los Angeles Unified School District. It's a magical space where students learn to understand and evaluate the art of their peers while providing an exhibition space modeled after professional galleries and museums.
Our school is a Title 1 middle school where more than 57% are socioeconomically disadvantaged and 47% of the student population is gifted and talented.
The school is culturally varied because it is an all magnet campus and must attract students from across the district to meet strict ethnic balance guidelines.
The student curators who run the gallery personify this rich balance and represent all magnet programs. They specialize within their scholarly program endeavors but come together to better understand one another while supporting the arts. The student curators determine art show themes, organize calls for entries, choose the art that best fits their theme, display the works, prepare the catalog essays and arrange an opening reception for each exhibition. They create, present, respond and connect to accomplish these activities.
The students are very egalitarian. They named their gallery "This is Art" to illustrate a philosophy of art which suggests art is everywhere and manifests in surprising ways. An off shoot of this stance is broad inclusiveness with regard to show entries. They would like to exhibit more, not less, of the works that are submitted to their exhibitions. Sadly, there are many more works vying for space than the gallery walls can accommodate. The Flourish Zig Zag MeshPanels Steel Frame Display Wall we are requesting will go a long way toward solving this problem. It will almost double the exhibition space, providing room for eighty, rather than forty art works.
The additional wall space provided by the display wall will empower the students through art by allowing them to demonstrate their innate open and inclusive policy for jurying submissions.
We have had tough discussions attempting to determine how best to return rejected work to students. The wall will allow discussions and student practice to focus on developing inclusive criterion - one with high standards, yet room for openness.
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