Fine Arts Department wins $10,000 grant for school’s first art gallery


Payton Lira

The current testing center will be transformed to exhibit student artwork

BG’s Fine Arts Department competed against other schools in the district for a $10,000 grant this year. The grant was set aside to aid the winning school in creating a designated art gallery space. English and Fine Arts Division Head Sandra Beguin, Photo teacher Michelle Price, Art teacher Jordie Field, Fine Arts coordinator Elizabeth Bennett, CTE teachers and maintenance staff came together to submit BG’s bidding proposal and won.

“We have so many talented art students at BG, but not everyone gets to see their artwork,” Beguin said.

However, a $10,000 grant is not enough to construct an art gallery space. Instead, art teachers and maintenance staff are working on transforming the current testing center into an art showcase.

“The testing center will become our own art gallery,” Price said. “We’re going to knock out the two office walls and create an open space in front of the theater.”

Construction for the gallery is set to begin as soon as possible and will end before the end of the 2014–2015 school year. The gallery itself will not open until next year, but Field and Price already have plans for art shows where work will be put on display.

“We’re looking at a lot of different ideas right now,” Field said. “Our goal is to get the students involved and really showcase them and their talents.”Field and Price also hope

to use the new gallery for a teacher art show in order to display staff artwork from across the district. Another idea they have is to bring back BG alumni that are still involved in art and exhibit some of their work. The galley will work with the BG community as much as possible to help build a relationship between students and experienced local artists.

“We want the gallery to be student–centered,” Price said. “AP art and Art Club will hang, curate, advertise and supervise the shows.”

As part of the proposal, the gallery will educate students on the potential of art as a career.

“With a student–run gallery, we can show the possibility of a career pathway in art,” Price said.

Beguin believes there are several benefits to the networking a student–run gallery will provide.

“Student curators [will] engage with the community,” Beguin said. “Through shows featuring BG alumni artists and artists from the local community, students can make connections with fine artists, photojournalists, commercial photographers [and more].”

The aim is to have the new gallery open under supervision not just for shows, but whenever the theater is in use in order to allow students and parents who do not normally get to experience student artwork to do so.

“We’re really excited about having a more formal opportunity to bring art to the students and school,” Field said. “It’s a way of educating people about the potential of art.”