WHS Art Fest slated
It's all arts on deck at Woodburn High School over the penultimate weekend of May.
WHS announced that it is holding an unprecedented outdoor Art Fest from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 21-22, on the forecourt and front lawn outside the school's main entrance.
The event is a welcome one for students and educators alike, following a long stretch of cancellations and limited virtual events during the pandemic. It will feature a student art gallery, art sale and silent auction, along with performances from student actors and music from the WHS Jazz Band and Mariachi Band.
"Yes, there is a ton of anticipation for being back in front of a live audience," Woodburn Arts & Communications Academy drama director Caleb Thurston said. "I really admire the students' tenacity and willingness to try new things this year, but there is nothing like being back in the room, working together. Theatre is inherently a relational art form, so doing it over a screen was never going to be as rewarding or powerful."
Beginning at 7 p.m. theatre students will be performing "All the World's a Stage," a dramatic collage of iconic moments from Shakespeare's most famous plays. Preparing for the act was no easy task.
"As far as challenges go: We have had to learn how to work around the Hybrid schedule; how to act at a distance from each other; how to project using masks and how to fill an outdoor space with our energy and sound," Thurston said. "Performing outside in the elements with the traffic sounds, is a different set of challenges for young actors."
Other student artists have encountered equally challenging circumstances.
"As for the visual arts portion, the show will be slimmed down since it has been difficult getting art supplies to students," said WACA art teacher Catherine Johnstone, whose students were able to safely present some of their work at an earlier event this spring. "I am including lots of work from last year. There will be plenty of artwork by the IB Art students for sale, which is a great way to get original work and support students as they head off to college."
Johnstone said despite the pandemic-induced setbacks, student and educator energy has been abundant leading up to this event.
"I am excited to celebrate our students this year and give them an opportunity to show the hard work they have done," she said. "It is also the first time that we have had a celebration of this sort with all three arts programs involved: music, theater and visual arts. I hope it is something we can continue to do."
The bands will set the tone for the event beginning at 6 p.m.
"The students do seem excited about the Art Fest and being able to be together making music again," WACA music teacher Nadia Maksimov said. "In general, rehearsals haven't really had any challenges since we only have about half the students back in school. The real challenge is working with half the number of students. The ensembles don't sound as full and we are missing some parts that help fill in the sound.
"Today (Wednesday, May 12) we had the opportunity to rehearse with students from hybrid and CDL, and it was so great to have a full ensemble," she added. "Students appeared more confident since they had peers joining them on parts that many otherwise would be playing alone."Putting it all together, this will be an evening celebrating local arts students, their creativity and perseverance. This outdoor event will be masked and socially distanced.
Attendance will be limited. Participants must pre-register online at https://tinyurl.com/WHSArtFest21.
What: Woodburn High School Art Fest, featuring contributions from student artists, actors and musicians.
When: 6 to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 21-22.
Where: Woodburn High School Campus, 1785 N Front St.
Information: This outdoor event to be masked and socially distanced. Participants must preregister online at https://tinyurl.com/WHSArtFest21.
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