The Jetstream Journal

Art at Air Academy

Kaitlyn Waynick, Polls Editor

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One section of the art showcase in the LMC

A piece of art can change a heart, mold a mind, and reveal a secret.

In a world today where creative expression is becoming more and more popular, Air Academy is adopting this medium and encouraging Kadets to pursue the important practice of art. One way our school cultivates this art culture is by hosting a big art showcase every year, a tradition that has been practiced at Air Academy for around fifteen years.

At the head of this showcase is the art director, Johnny O’Lonergan, who has been an AAHS faculty member for twenty years. This display of student-work is “an opportunity for us to showcase student artwork that has been created by students from that particular year,” he said.

This year, the artwork will be displayed in the LMC and D building gallery starting January 29th. The showcase itself will take place February 9th from 5-7 P.M. Of course, the art showcase is a wonderful way for students to show off their talent and for friends and family to appreciate it, but the purpose of this event goes much deeper than that.

“For the students themselves, it’s just nice to share their voice with a larger audience than just a classroom,” said O’Lonergan.

He later expanded on what he meant by “voice”:

“Voice to me is an opportunity to communicate a meaning, message, or a mood that you communicate through symbol, through the visual voice instead of the written word. To communicate an idea visually is a really valuable lesson. It’s even one of our state standards that students understand a visual form of communication.”

Not only is art a form of emotional expression, but it’s also a way of life and a career option. Many students who participate in this art show are so passionate about their work that they hope to pursue a career in the art field. An additional purpose of this art showcase is to give students exposure to the competitive art world and gain real-life experience for their future jobs.

“In order to be competitive in any career field, you have to market yourself. You have to show your talents and skills, and get people to see what you’re able to do. The best way to do that is to get involved in art shows and put yourself out there. The more audience you have to see your stuff, the more opportunities you have to network,” stated O’Lonergan.

Kadet Landon Dills is on this art career path and looks forward to displaying his talent at the art showcase this year.

“I am submitting two pieces, both of which are ceramic. One is of a kind of a mask but it is a representation of a heartbreak, so it’s eating a heart. Another one is a representation of taking off your social mask and becoming the person you really are in front of the people you love,” he said.

It’s obvious that his art is very meaningful to him and who he is as a person. He portrays his feelings through his works not only for himself but for others as well, making the publicity of the art showcase significant to him.

“I want people to feel what I feel, whether that’s good or whether that’s bad. I want them to have emotions because so many times people just hide away and don’t show who they really are. So hopefully my art can help them come out a little bit.”

The Jetstream Journal recognizes the significance of art to our students, and so we are happy to support them during this showcase. The Jetstream is linking up with the event this year and running a contest within the showcase, awarding the top two pieces with a prize. The top seven artworks will be displayed on our homepage with voting available until February 9th. We encourage everyone to come out to the event to see who wins and to appreciate the hard work and talent that our Kadets put into these pieces!

 

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