Student Art On Display In McEvoy Gallery Through March 3

(L-R: Andrea Ley, Oil, 2-D Art; Benjamin Braden, Gelatin Silver Prints, Advanced Art; Assorted pieces, Ceramics; Layla Grilli, Abstract Photographs, Photography.)

As one studies art, they discover its prominent role in the Catholic intellectual tradition, and in the pages of history itself. From the works of da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael to those of Caravaggio, Velásquez and Rembrandt, classical art pointed to the Divine at a time when literacy and access to scripture was a privilege. Portsmouth Abbey School seeks to instill that same desire for the true, the good and the beautiful through the practical study of art.

Mark Nadeau, head of the visual arts department, speaks to the subject’s importance in secondary education and development, even if a student doesn’t plan to pursue it post-graduation. Practically speaking, Nadeau says that art proves to be beneficial in several ways, such as enhancing fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills, while promoting critical thinking, which he says is arguably the most important aspect of education in general.

The saying used by many artists, “paint what you see, not what you know,” is how students learn to portray their subjects objectively, in terms of line, shape and shadow, not allowing personal judgements or assumptions to blind them. Nadeau says these skills learned in Fundamentals of Arts are a direct application of critical thinking and prepare them for the next phase in their art education—in Photography, Ceramics, or 2-D Art—but also cross-curricularly in other classes.

There are two art exhibits per term in the McEvoy Gallery, on the first floor of the McGuire Fine Arts Center. Currently, student pieces from the Photography, Ceramics, 2-D Art and Advanced Art classes are on display. Nadeau remarks, “at this point in the year, all of the students have shown marked improvements in their abilities, and they should be proud of their work.” The show runs through Friday, March 3.