Visiting Artist Rebecca Goodale’s Ant Farm Comes to St. Mark’s

By Olivia Hammond ‘19

IMG_3348.jpeg

This past month, everyone who has walked through the PFAC has seen the exhibition called Ant Farm. It was constructed collaboratively by several female artists who live and work in Maine. Meant to be an immersive experience, the artwork surrounds viewers and encapsulates them in a world of ants. A wide range of artistic media have been used to show these insects, but they are not arranged in the way many artists choose to display their work. Instead, every part of the room is used. Massive scrolls are draped over suspended bars, and large interlocked prints seem to pulsate as they hang in the center of the gallery, framed quilts on the walls make viewers stop and consider what they see.

There is so much depth and beauty in the way this exhibition was created, but also in the content itself. Ants are a powerful metaphor because they are small and often overlooked, yet extremely complex in many ways that we do not even understand. How can they compare to the human species, and how can they compare to our own lives? With a mixture of painting, printmaking, bookmaking, and architecture, the artists have combined their own visions to create one cohesive artifact. It brings up concepts of identity, culture, and nature that must be interpreted by visitors to the gallery.

Rebecca Goodale is one of the principal artists involved in this work. She lives and works at the University of Southern Maine, acting as the program coordinator for the Center of Book Arts. She also teaches and is the recipient of several awards, grants, and fellowship programs at elite colleges and beyond. She is extremely interested in ecology and wildlife, especially regarding the endangerment of plants and animals. In her own words, “Her intention is not to become a scientific illustrator; instead, Goodale wants to inspire sensitivity for these rare florae and fauna by using her background in book arts and textile design to interpret color, pattern, rhythm, and transition.”

On October 5th, the Advanced Art History and Advanced Studio classes had an “in-house field trip.” About twenty students had the privilege of attending a workshop taught by Ms. Goodale from 8:30 to 4:00. They constructed, both collaboratively and individually, three books ( you can see them on display in Taft over the weekend). She directed the class on their books and also displayed a number of examples from classes that she had taught in the past. Learning the complicated processes of book making, even those that were supposedly simple, gave the students a new perspective on how much care goes into a massive exhibit like Ant Farm.

The exhibit is on display through the end of the month- don’t miss it!

Fall (Fantasy role) Play

By Daniella Pozo ‘22

IMG_2822.JPG

This year’s Fall Play, She Kills Monsters by young playwright Qui Nguyen, follows the story of Agnes Evans, whose younger sister Tilly has just died. As she gets pulled into a Dungeons and Dragons game that her deceased sister created, she encounters deadly fairies, devils, mean girls and even a Jello for of her boyfriend. The play has been described by Samuel French Publishers as a “comedic romp into the world of fantasy role-playing games.” In the course of the performance, Agnes learns about her sister as she follows a journey of self-discovery in an imaginative world full of adventure.

“The goal this year was to outdo ourselves and I think that by the end we will succeed in that,” said cast member Felicity Keyzer-Pollard ‘21. “I can honestly say that it is going to be the best show we have done while I have been at St. Marks. There are so many amazing moments in the show that make me so proud of what we have put together. It is such an amazing group of people working on the Cast and Crew this year. I am so proud of all the work they have done.”

June Hyunoo Seong ‘19 commented that “[the] play is incredibly intersectional and provides thoughtful commentary on identity issues. This play will relate to everyone.”

Opening night is November 14 and performances run through November 16th. Don’t miss this special production that is sure to enchant its audiences with iconic moments, battle fights, dragons costumes and more!



Advanced Art’s Summer showcase

by Sanjna Patel ‘19

Over the summer students in Advanced Art Studio started work on their portfolios. Students are asked to choose a topic or theme to focus on that investigates content or a visual idea. Over the course of the year students develop their work into a portfolio for a 2-person exhibition in the spring. A selection of the work shown here is currently on display in Taft Hall.

Cecily Bradley

VI Form

“My concentration is Saturday Night Live and comedians. Comedians tend to be unhappy people, and so they have set out with the goal to make sure no one ever feels as low as they once have.”

Cecily Bradley-2.jpg
Cecily Bradley -4.jpg

 

Mary Flathers

VI

“This year, my focus is my family. I chose this theme because it has both personal and universal significance. Because I have many siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents, I always have material to work with. However, not every family is the same as mine. Universally, each family is different. As the year continues, I am shifting my focus from my own family to worldwide interpretations of this aspect of identity.”

Mary Flathers.jpg

 

Mei Mei Arms

VI Form

“My concentration is on the people that have had a major impact on my life, whether that be current or past.  Most of these people I will never meet.”

 

Helen Huang

V Form

“My concentration is Mythical Creatures because I've always enjoyed reading fantasy books as a kid, and I wanted to choose a topic that I could have a lot of fun with.”

Helen Huang -4.jpg

 

Kevin Huang

IV  Form

“My concentration is Social Media, I chose this concentration because of its relevance in our lives today, and the negative repercussions that it causes.”

Kevin Huang-1.jpg

 

Waverly Shi

IV Form

“My focus this year is on architecture and the impact and role it plays for humans. For example, architecture influences human emotions. It is also a way of expressing cultural differences.”


AP End of Year Artwork Showcase

by Sanjna Patel '19

Students in Advanced Studio Art choose an area of keen interest and pursue it all year in a variety of media. Topics have included Economic inequality, Ocean pollutants, Treatment of wild animals, Water, the concept of Narrative deconstructed, Portraiture, among many others. Students research their topic thoroughly through articles and books and through the work of artists whose work connects with their own thinking. They explore materials and meaning in their work and overtime, develop a portfolio of images that constructs an understanding that takes the viewer into a broad and deep exploration of a topic.
— Barbara Putnam (Studio Art Teacher)
  Jenny Tang '20

Jenny Tang '20

  Jenny Tang '20

Jenny Tang '20

  Julia Danielsen '18

Julia Danielsen '18

  Julia Danielsen '18

Julia Danielsen '18

  Leean Li '19

Leean Li '19

 Leean Li '19

Leean Li '19

  Lulu Eastman '18

Lulu Eastman '18

  Lulu Eastman '18

Lulu Eastman '18

  Rosanna Zhao '19

Rosanna Zhao '19

  Rosanna Zhao '19

Rosanna Zhao '19

Hairspray: the Musical

by Olivia Hammond '19

Image for Musical Article-2.jpg

On April 20th and 21st, the St. Mark’s Musical Theatre Club ran a production of Hairspray. It was an impressive display of planning, insight, and leadership by student leaders: Shelby Howard, Cait Lochhead, Jack Griffin, Jonathan Shakespeare, Reevie Fenstermacher, and Katherine Ewald. They took the beloved musical and adapted it to our black box theater. Talent, hard work, and humor combined to make a very enjoyable show that represented many different groups in our student body. In the following interview the leaders discuss their roles and how certain aspects of the show came together.

 

 

What were your expectations going into the musical this year? How had the musical last year shaped them?

 

Shelby: Last year it was super fun. I had done it with a lot of us just for fun, kind of, as trying something new, and then after show last year Ellis had said, “Hey, do you want to join,” to me, Reevie, John, and Jack, “and maybe help lead the musical next year?” And I was like, “Sure, I can help with a couple things, maybe help organize.” So those were my expectations. I thought it would be pretty small and I wasn’t going to do that much. But it ended up that we all had to do a lot and it became a big commitment for all of us.

Jack: Last year I didn’t really do much but I saw all of the things that Ellis did, so I thought it was going to be a big step up. It was really hectic the last few weeks and it took a lot of time, but it was definitely worth it just like I expected it to be.

Reevie: I would say that it was as I expected. Going in I knew that it would be a lot of work and a lot of time.

Cait: Yeah, last year I went to probably about two rehearsals and then two dress rehearsals, but over the course of two weeks this year I went to more than last year. It was definitely more hectic than last year but so worth it.

 

What is something you’re proud of?

 

Reevie: (immediately) The way it turned out, definitely.

Shelby: Yeah.

Reevie: That was such a great turnout with the audience and how excited they were about it all, especially the first night. There was such a huge crowd and the energy was really, really fun. It turned out to be such a good show.

Jack: I was amazed at how proper of a show it was. Last year it was run by Ellis, who was on Broadway. This year it was six of us, and some of us have acting experience but I still thought it was going to be a little more thrown together. But it turned out that it was actually a more proper show and I was impressed that everyone came together.

Shelby: I’m proud of the cast that we had. I think it’s awesome to be able to put something together where a lot of different types of people can contribute to one product. I would even say the musical might be one of the few student clubs on campus that can represent our school. I’m glad it was a really good representation of our student body. And I think it’s great that we showed how we can all have fun together. Also so proud that it was basically completely student-led.

Everyone: Yeah.

 

What is something unexpected that you were very happy about?

 

Reevie: That it came together.

(all laugh)

Shelby: I think we all had that thought.

Jack: I didn’t expect to get to use the mop as a mic, I was very excited about that.

(all laugh)

Cait: Honestly, I was not expecting everyone to work together as well as we did. Some people felt very strongly about the way they wanted the show to go. Even in the very beginning it was hard to choose the musical. Everyone had different opinions so I was not sure what to expect in terms of making the smart decisions about props, casting and all that stuff.

Shelby: But getting a stage crew, that was so unexpected. That was one of the many things that just hit us. We were like, “Crap! We need to actually get people who can like, play the music!”

(all laugh)

Shelby: It was like, “I can’t do these things because I have to be on the stage!” It was moments like that that were so unexpected.

Cait: Since Ellis did everything last year, we weren’t necessarily expecting it to be so stressful having six of us and having the stage crew and having all of the actors commit to it. I didn’t think it was going to be as stressful or that there would be as many moving pieces because he handled it so well last year.

 

How would you describe the cast?

 

Reevie: I would say very diverse in the people’s personalities. Some gave it their all because they wanted a good show and some people were just there to have fun. It all came together eventually, which I think the audience could tell from the performances. There were definitely those who were more committed than others, but everyone ended up pulling their weight at the end, no matter how close to the end it was. (haha)

Cait: I think it was interesting because there was a role for everybody. I could not see anyone else playing the gym teacher.

(all laugh)

Cait: Everyone played their part so well and I think it was because everyone had these different energies and personalities that they brought to the table.

Shelby: I would describe our cast as very willing to try new things. They adapted so well. As we got closer to the show certain things would fall through or we would lose some people, but our cast was just very willing to go with the flow. If we had very headstrong and stubborn people the show wouldn’t have gone on, but because people were ready to change and do what was best for the show it ended up being really great. There was a strong sense of teamwork and selflessness.

 

Finally, in the coming years, what is something you would love to achieve?

 

Jack: A Tony.

(all laugh)

Shelby: Definitely a Saturday class.

Cait: With other things, such as acapella, there’s a huge amount of time to prepare but right before the show it still feels like you’re going to freak out. I know that’s still going to happen with this but maybe in future years there’s a way to dress rehearsal week a week or two before. So we’re not as freaked out because it does come together and it will come together but it’s a little less stressful. Ooh, and we should get help with props early on. Our props were really, really good but it was so rushed.

Jack: I’d love to see the cast help out. It would be fun if we got everyone together.

Reevie: That’s what we do for the school productions, everyone helps build the set. That’s what I thought was going to happen but a lot of people couldn’t make it.

Shelby: I want there to be a legacy of the musical. I want it to continue past us. So when we come to our reunions we see if it’s still awesome and it’s still alive. There were musical productions at St. Mark’s before us, but if this could be something established I think that would be amazing. Also to see how it evolves over the years.

 

Overall, the musical was a smashing success. The leaders worked together to create a wonderful rendition of a classic musical. It was clear that they were all invested in making the best show that they could. I am certain that in years to come the St. Mark’s community will again be entertained by this newfound tradition.

Wick Choral Festival 2018

by Luke Lee '21

On Friday, January 26th, the school received the biggest number of visitors it has had for a school musical event this year. The parking spaces were filled with cars and school buses. The campus was packed with students from other high schools and even a few universities. They were all dressed sharply, wearing coat and tie or dresses. Everyone seemed excited and confident. Over two days, January 26th and 27th, St. Mark’s held the annual Wick Choral Festival at the Class of 1945 Hall of Putnam Family Arts Center.

The Wick Choral Festival was established to remember St. Mark's  alumnus Myron A. Wick and to honor his lifelong passion for singing. Performances were held on Friday evening and Saturday evening. A total of of 8 high schools sent their A Capella groups: Algonquin Regional High School, Middlesex School, Noble and Greenough School, Northfield Mount Hermon School, Pomfret School, Roxbury Latin School, the Wheeler School, and Groton School. A Capella groups from two colleges, Northeastern University and University of Richmond, also offered marvelous performances to the audience.

Alumni, parents from other schools, the acapella groups, and students were waiting in the audience. The Royal Blues were the first to perform. As Mo Liu, the head of Royal Blues, returned to her group after hitting the note on the piano to find the right pitch, the audience was watching them with great anticipation. At first, the girls seemed slightly nervous. The Royal Blues started out with Sigrid’s “Don’t Kill My Vibe.” Sure enough, their first song was a success. There was uproarious applause and also a few shoutouts after which their stiff faces seemed to soften a bit. Then they continued, singing Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy," Clean Bandit's "Symphony," and VV Brown's "Shark in the Water". In between the songs,  Paula Hornbostel '20, Frances Hornbostel '21, Maeve Ahern '20, Kaela Dunne '18, Katherine Ewald '19, and Caitlin Lochhead '19 all had some incredible solos.

After the Royal Blues exited, the Marksmen stepped onto the stage. Watching the Royals Blues, the expectations from the audience were high. They kicked off their set with Ben E. King's "Stand by Me” and Sean Kingston's "Beautiful Girls," with Reily Scott '21 and Conrad Krapf '21 as soloists. Because those two songs were well-known, many students and faculties smiled when they heard the two songs. Some shifted their bodies to the rhythm of the songs. Then, they sang Bastille's “Pompeii”; with Steven Burke ‘18 as the soloist. The audience was stunned by his high voice. The highlight of their performance was their last song, “Classic” by MKTO. Jon Shakespeare ‘19 rocked the stage, going up to a girl and singing to her. Tommy Flathers ‘21 ended the song with his rap. It was awesome how he used his crutches to dance to the rhythm. It was wonderful to see the other groups too. Their performances were superb. The acapella groups from Northeastern University and the University of Richmond were at another level. It was great to see Blake Normandin ‘15 back in the Wick Festival.

A Curious Winter Play

by Lauren Menjivar '18

Mark your calendars everyone! The winter play is just around the corner. There is much to anticipate for the new production because it is  like nothing we have ever done in the past.

This winter, the cast is performing The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time based on the national bestseller novel by Mark Haddon and adapted by Simon Stephens. The plot revolves around a young, intelligent fifteen-year old boy named Christopher Boone (played by Angela Li ‘19), who finds himself at the front lawn of his neighbor’s house one night, staring down at the dog who was recently murdered. No one knows who may have killed the neighbor’s dog, so Christopher decides to investigate on it himself, and throughout his journey, he discovers a secret that changes his life forever.

For the last two months and a half, actors Grace D. ‘18, Kaela D. ‘18, Rachel H. ‘18, Alex Jeong ‘18, Caroline M. ‘18, Reevie F. ‘19, Angela L. ‘19, Anuoluwa A. ‘20, William L. ‘20, Illia R. ‘20, Alex C ‘21, and Rebecca W. ‘21, Mr. Kent, and the stage crew have been working non-stop to give the best performances for the St. Mark’s community. Unlike past plays, there is no set change, but instead the whole play is performed in the round, and for the first time in a couple of years, we are finally opening the fourth side of the black box for the audience. There are also many lights and music cues that set the stage of the mood perfectly. The actors have been polishing up their British and Irish accents for their characters. There will be a couple of intense sequences to watch out for by the cast. You will be amazed!

Come out and support the St. Mark’s theater production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time! The cast will perform it from February 28-March 3. Reserve your tickets by emailing back to Mr. Kent. We added an additional night instead of the usual three performances, and the fourth night is open to the public so spread the word! We hope to see you all at the Black Box Theater!

 

Photography: More Than Just Pressing a Button

by Filip Kierzenka '19

Photography is one of the most underrated and misjudged forms of art. People assume that the camera is doing all the work and that a photographer is just there to order the camera to do its magic. It isn’t art because anyone can just whip out their phone and take a picture of their Starbucks for Snapchat, right? This is where people go wrong. Just like with any art, there is good and bad photography. A great photographer doesn’t just take a photo of their Starbucks for the sake of getting some “likes” on social media; they take pictures with a purpose. Photos capture moments in time. They convey emotion and meaning.

Photography is underrated because the meaningful photos are often drowned out by pictures of no purpose. For instance, whenever my family travels, my mom will stop us every five feet to take a horribly staged photo. I ask her every time, “What is the point of taking thirty pictures that are exactly the same?” Every time she would respond, “because I like them.” This answer is not very convincing. Also, I’m positive that the vast majority of these photos are never looked at again.

Not that taking personal photos to remember a moment is a bad thing, but I do believe that good photos should inspire feelings in the viewer. To take a good photo with a DSLR camera, you need to make sure that all settings are set right (ISO, aperture, exposure, etc.), that the scene is established properly, not to mention that the object needs to be worthy of a picture. It actually is quite hard to get it all just right. It becomes a very nuanced art with a variety of elements, a change in any of which would lead to a slightly different picture. In fact, all of this work is just to get the photos to look good. It doesn’t even include the most important part: finding the subject. Great photographers should not only master their tools but also know where and when to capture a moment. It’s a shame that people don’t recognize this part of photography because once you recognize it, it becomes the most impressive element of a photo. The object is what separates a good photo from a great one.

Hopefully, after reading this article, you appreciate photography in a new way. Please don’t just look at photos for their visual appeal, but rather for the stories behind them. If you are interested in learning more about photography, I would strongly encourage Ms. Gilbert’s Fundamentals of Photography Saturday class. She teaches all of the pieces which come together to create a great picture, and it’s a lot of fun. Some of the photos in this article are from her Fall ‘17 class, and others are pictures which I think are examples of “great” photos.

FilipImage1.jpeg
FilipImage2.jpeg
FilipImage3.jpg
FilipImage4.jpg

Photo Citations:

  1. Elise Gobron

  2. Preston Dotson

  3. 2001 The Record (Bergen Co. NJ)/Getty Images

  4. Andrew Burton / Getty Images

Storyteller Turned Philosopher: David Foster Wallace’s “This is Water”

By June Seong '19

 

This is Water

By David Foster Wallace

137 pp. Little, Brown and Company. $10.25

 

As the school semester enters its thicket, I find myself often questioning the value of my education. Apart from questioning the value of miscellaneous information I am asked to know, my real questions are about value of learning.  What is learning? Should it be limited to the classroom? Alongside my slew of questions runs a corrugated path of minute observations that attempts to place value on this education. I am left with a hunger for a single answer. In this pursuit, I realize that my peers and those educated around me are also confronted with this same search. Rather than realizing the value of our education, the real goal is to actualize its value in our day to day lives. After all,  what is the value of a realization of one’s purpose if the purpose is not put into action?

At Kenyon College, David Foster Wallace gave his commencement speech, “This is Water.” In it he addresses the vast multitude of the educated in society. In attempting to define the value of education, he speaks of the “banality” of adult existence. Questioning the connection between knowledge and acclimating to the “banalities” of adult life is, as Wallace defines it, what defines our consciousness; “how to keep from going through your comfortable...adult life dead, unconscious....and to your natural default-setting of being...imperially alone, day in and day out” (3). In this sense, education means survival as a conscious being in a banal world. In gaining an education, you obtain the ability to “adjust”- to be critical of your own vastly deluded assumptions and to chose a conscious, engaged life.

This connection between aloneness and the value of an education that Wallace makes is especially poignant to me. In the morbidity of my own corporeal self-centeredness, I realize that an education takes me out of my “skull sized kingdom.” (7) I am able to transcend my own limits through knowledge. I find myself here and there turning to “This is Water” for consolation. Consolations in the face of my ego, that tells me I am either superior or mediocre.