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AHS artists recreate subway-style art on campus

By Natalie Hardy

A multimedia art student created this design in a few minutes during break as students passed by. Photo by Oak Leaf staff
A multimedia art student created this design in a few minutes during break as students passed by.
Photo by Oak Leaf staff

Students walking in the main building during break may have noticed art in action last month.  Several students in multimedia art hung black paper and used chalk to recreate, in a matter of minutes, designs inspired by famed artist Keith Haring.

These are just a few of the various samples of student art visible across campus. The  ‘chalk draws’ came about after the students took a field trip to visit Keith Haring exhibits in San Francisco and decided replicate some of his work.

Another multimedia art student at work on the Haring-inspired designs.
Another multimedia art student at work on the Haring-inspired designs.

The idea of chalk draws is to recreate works of art that can be seen at subway stations but instead of using paint, which is permanent,  students use chalk. By drawing the pieces  during break, the multimedia art students  attempted to recreate the subway atmosphere with busy passersby looking at their art work.

Down the hall in the main building, another artist created a chalk draw.
Down the hall in the main building, another artist created a chalk draw.

Senior Jasper Lim said that the basis of the chalk draws was to allow students to see how the art process works and allow them to see the artist in action. “The point was to see how people would react to images of chalk draws. It was fun to perform because people don’t really see our art and making it,” he said.

One of the finished chalk draws in the first floor of the main building.
One of the finished chalk draws in the first floor of the main building.

Students of the class expressed that they enjoyed this project because Haring was an inspiring individual with an interesting point of view on the world. They also shared that it was a pleasant experience being able to put their art up for the school to see.

Senior Claire Rausser said she enjoyed showing her work and also liked the idea of students being able to make their own designs with the chalk and posters.  “I like that I was able to put my art out there. It  promoted possibility for you to express yourself.  I expressed myself, now it’s your turn,” she said.

In addition to chalk draws, earlier this year students put together photograph collages known as jointers that have been posted all around school. They were a series of pictures put together to make one centralized photo.  This was in effort to attract more students to art and see how expressive it can be as well try out a new styles of art never done before.

Andrea Szeto is the teacher for regular and advanced multimedia art.  She describes her classes as “incredibly heterogeneous” with many seniors and freshmen intertwined together making lessons flexible and often interchangeable.

When describing how she chooses her lesson plans she says “some of it’s predictable [but] advanced students are more fluid and stir it based on interest.”

Besides of the various class assignments students work on in class, they are also responsible for the many displays seen at school. They create posters for dance and theater productions as well as designing the front cover of agendas every year. They are frequently asked to create designs for projects but, because they are so busy, cannot always accommodate all requests.

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