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IB Visual Art Exhibitions Explore Themes Through Connected Thinking That Leads to Deeper Understanding

Timelessness of art. Technology in art. Mental health and art. These are just a few of the themes brought to creative life in this year’s IB Visual Art Exhibition projects. The IB Exhibition is an opportunity to think through complex ideas and find creative ways to represent them. The project combines a research-based comparative study on a chosen topic with its representation in art form. It’s a culmination of the work of the 18 IB Art students who have been exploring and crafting throughout the year in their IB HL and SL Art classes. “What never ceases to impress me is the extraordinary way the students pull it all together in a coherent, cohesive, and meaningful way,” said Claire Cronin, IB Art teacher at WMHS.

Finja Reuschle, who took on the broadness of timelessness, used a breadth of work in mixed mediums to give her chosen theme context. She translated and transplanted her creative vision through paintings that show a connection between cave art and Banksy, sculptures made from clay and soapstone, old vinyl records repurposed to their digital counterparts, and a thick slice from a tree that had been cut down on the Woodlands campus. “I wanted to create pieces that could be understood by all,” she said. “Each piece reflects timelessness in its many varied forms. The tree and the artwork I created on it reflect the constant changing of nature and how time moves on.” She filled a natural crack in the piece of the tree with resin, which resembles a lightning bolt as another way to show the effect of nature on change. 

HL IB Art student Allen Punnous’ exhibition was, in some ways, years in the making. “I am drawn to the digital world, so I wanted to show how technology is used in innovative ways,” he said. “I used a collection of my photos that I have been curating for a while, and I used 241 pictures to make up one of my pieces.”

Standing beside a large server rack filled with different components, such as a keyboard and the inner workings of a server box, he explains, “I created this structure to show technology through dissection and creative reassembly.”

Two students’ work separately captured the unique and universal inner experiences of mental health. In his comparative study on Pablo Picasso and Frida Khalo, Doriel Tejada discovered a shared connection between the two artists; they both suffered from depression. “Both artists experienced difficulties in their lives, such as poverty and physical disabilities,” he said. “My art pieces reflect, through appropriation, the moments of depression in their lives.” One of Jasmine Butler’s pieces are images of one person swimming in a pool that is juxtaposed with a cigarette being smoked. “This depicts how there are healthy and unhealthy ways of coping when we are struggling with issues around our mental health,” she said. “I want to be able to help people through my art. It’s important to know there are people who can be an ally without judgment.” 

The exhibition, attended by Greenburgh students, staff, and teachers, allowed the IB Art students to show their work and discuss it with the spectators. “There is a bravery in their work that becomes reinforced through their articulation around it,” said Ms. Cronin. “It is their interpretation, and they are putting it all out there.”

A video featuring the IB artists and their work can be found here.