Campus Prepares for High School Art Exhibit
Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus is hosting its seventh annual art show for high school students to exhibit their work. Participation in the show is selective as students are chosen by their teachers. The opening reception for this year’s exhibit, themed “A Moment in Time,” is 6:30 p.m. Jan. 30. The show will be on display through April 4 in the lobby of 9605 Medical Center Drive, Rockville.
Hopkins Happenings asked art show curator Sherill Anne Gross to talk to us about the exhibit, the importance of public art and her own work.
Tell us about your relationship with Johns Hopkins University. When did you start to curate shows for the Montgomery County Campus?
I am an independent contractor with Johns Hopkins solely working on art shows for the Montgomery County Campus. I've been working with the team now for four years.
What do you try to accomplish with each show at the Montgomery County Campus?
The fact that the gallery is in a public art space provides a unique opportunity to expose different artists to a new audience. I think that is the most exciting thing about public art spaces. It lets us bring the gallery to people instead of the other way around. So I take advantage of that and try to show art with a wide variety of media and subjects. There is so much amazing local talent and I want to show it all! I know it has made an impact to people who work in the buildings. I see people get excited when I (the art lady) show up. They want to see what art show we will be hanging next.
Tell us about the high school art exhibit. What do you hope the students learn by participating in the art show?
The high school exhibit is always a little different. This is a true juried show. We give the schools a subject, and the students create work based on that. We take all the submissions and jury in a certain number of works for the exhibit. Johns Hopkins provides the schools with canvases of a certain size so all of the submitted works are the same size. We take the same approach with photography and offer a juried exhibition of works from the local photography students. I believe the show has built up a reputation among the high school art programs, which makes students think harder about what they are going to create so they can be part of the show. I hope the theme and size restrictions challenge them to think about their compositions and what they are going to create.
Why should the community come out to the reception on Jan. 30?
The reception for the student show on Jan. 30 will be a lot of fun. There will be a lot of great art to be seen as well as an award presentation. You can see the excitement and pride of the artists when they see their work on the wall. The happiness is contagious!
How would you describe your own art?
My artwork is made only with paper, glue and patience. Every part of my art is made only using cut paper, even the signature. The non-straight lines and imperfect circles that are created are layered upon each other to reveal a final realistic image. Everything is done by hand; no stencils are used. The challenge of taking a finite color palette of flat square papers and transforming them into realistic final images is an exciting concept each time I approach a new piece.