When Art Teacher Jennifer Thomas thinks about the future of the art department, she envisions collaborations with other schools on an international level.
Thomas hopes for two to three different schools to complete the same project, and then display this art in the gallery.
This gallery will be located in the new arts building, which is set to open in January. “I’d love to do something where we are actually sharing our work with other schools and set up some community sharing,” Thomas said.
The art department will be provided with new space as all classrooms will be much larger than what currently exists. The same art subjects will still be offered.
The new building will not only provide artists with a larger space to work, but also a place to show and display their work. As described by Thomas, the ground floor of the building will be a gallery providing a “dedicated space to show art.”
Within the gallery, there will be space to show films, photographs, drawings, paintings and prints, and a new addition of box like structures which will allow for sculptures to be on display. “[The gallery] is something really exciting, that we have a space to show our work, rather than putting it randomly up around the hallways,” Thomas said.
While Magnus Allan (’17) recognizes that the new building will not greatly impact his photography, as most of his photos are taken outside of school, the main benefit of the building he sees as “acknowledging there is a unique space for art in the school, and is giving more attention to [the arts].”
When in school however, Allan believes the new dark room will benefit photographers, as more students will be able to use the space at once. “There is more space to work and [more] creative space,” Allan said.
On the other hand, Caroline Richter (’18) believes the new addition of a dance studio will directly impact the dance program at ASL as “it will give a designated space for dance that doesn’t have to be shared with theater.”
Currently without a studio, dance has two main spaces in which they practice: Y-301 and the School Center.
Sharing an area with theater however, proves to be a disadvantage as large play sets minimize the avaliable space. “Right now, the spaces are pretty confined, and it’s a little difficult to do spacing in routines and practice, because [the space] is usually booked or it is hard to manage,” Richter said.
While the dance team has the opportunity to go off campus for practice, dance classes are not given that option, forcing them to make do with the spaces currently available.
Similarly to Ritcher, Thomas feels the increased space will pose opportunities for a range of displays within the gallery. Thomas hopes to collaborate with local London artists during gallery shows, as it is a “community arts building.”
Expanding the displays to the community also poses opportunities for professional artists to come in and work with students.
In addition to the expanded space, all classrooms will have large windows, providing a source of natural light. “Artists love light, so that will be a very strong advantage and something very different than what we’re used to working in here,” Thomas said.