Regional art show upgrades with technology

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Gabrielle Oliver

Art teacher Katy Mangrich sits at her desk working on the virtual art show for others to see students’ artwork. Every year, Mangrich has prepared the art displays to be available to students and parents to see in the hallways. “I actually enjoy doing things like that. It’s part of creating a visually pleasing piece of work,” Mangrich said.

Trading the ice rink at Queeny Park for a virtual platform, the art department got creative in the production of their annual art show. By making the show virtual, there was room for experimentation in creating a video that held all the same purposes as the in-person shows. 

“I am usually the one who organizes the art show, both the regional and Queeny Park [one],” Art Department leader Katy Mangrich said. “[The art teachers] are picking out our most successful [pieces], and I try to include at least five to eight of each project and then we go into matting it [a thin piece of material that protects artwork and adds decoration].”

Students from all art classes have the chance of their work being on display for others to get a glimpse at during this event. 

“For my portfolio, I’ve been making a lot of short animations, which I hadn’t done before,” senior Rebecca Vierck said. “I wanted to show what it’s like to live with ADHD and create pieces that tell stories.”

Due to Parkway’s virtual beginning, Mangrich made the decision during the second quarter to make the art show virtual and took on most of the work. 

“It was never told to us to do that, to make it virtual,” Mangrich said. “I was trying to figure out a way to post the students’ work and in doing that, that’s probably why I did it all.” 

Having to make changes moving forward, Mangrich had to use her own knowledge to assist her in learning how to use platforms to make the visual.

iMovie was the only one I used. Learning how to use it took four days, but it wasn’t hard,” Mangrich said. “It’s part of creating a visually pleasing piece of work.”

While beginning to work on the virtual show, Mangrich asked her cadet teachers, seniors Bridget Thomas and Michaela Linden, to aid her in producing the video.

It took a while to put all the photos in the editor app in the correct order, add everyone’s names and make sure they were visible,” Linden said. “There were a couple of times where I forgot a photo or had to start completely over because one little thing messed up the whole slideshow.”

I love being able to watch people express themselves visually. I look at it as a way of communicating. I like to see students feel successful.”

— Katy Mangrich

With Mangrich and her cadet teachers working to host the show, there were still responsibilities as a teacher that Mangrich had to balance with everything around her. 

“It was really a challenge and most of the time I used to create the virtual art show was in my free time outside of school,” Mangrich said. “All of the changes to the way we deliver our curriculum and all of the new structures I put in place were time-consuming.”

By having a virtual show for everyone to see, it opened the path for more options for the presentation of the art show. 

“I feel like more people are going to see it being virtual,” Mangrich said. “I was able to send it to everyone in the administration building and both parents and students and I think it was really convenient.”

Being an art teacher has brought Mangrich pride as she gets the chance to watch her students grow as artists every year. 

“I love being able to watch people express themselves visually. I look at it as a way of communicating,” Mangrich said. “I like to see students feel successful.”

As the final product of the virtual art show publishes, Mangrich hopes to be able to have both options, in-person and virtual, for next year’s art show. 

We don’t want to take away from having an in-person art show but I want to still have that option of having it virtual,” Mangrich said. “I think it will really cater to people’s needs.”

In addition to having a virtual art show, the AP [Advanced Placement] art teachers are still putting their students’ work in the hallway to showcase their hard work they have done all year. 

“The pieces that I made for my portfolio are super personal to me and I’m nervous for everyone to be able to see that,” Vierck said. “But I hope that they all understand the messages that I tried to portray. Either way, I’m definitely proud of my good chunk of my work.”