By Zuzu Morgan
This year the ArtQuest Program put on an incredible spring showcase. All of the programs developed beautiful performances and pieces, with the entire night perfectly encompassing the spirit of the school.
This year’s spring showcase opened with an unconducted performance from the string orchestra. Their rendition of Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 by Johann Bach was delivered with great precision and energy, and was an excellent introduction to the rest of the night.
Afterwards, ArtQuest English teacher Annie Samuels explained the concept of the program and introduced the other AQ teachers and staff. Students’ spirited responses to this portion of the night indicate how valuable the program is. Following this, the six Dance Company members and AQ choir’s Ava Luthin performed a dance and spoken word piece. Luthin recited a piece on the North Bay fires entitled One Day with palpable emotion in the midst of the dancers. Both emotionally moving and visually stunning, this performance captured the community spirit and talent of the program.
Then came a speech by the AQ director Jan Sofie, leading into the viewing of a documentary clip featuring scenes from ArtQuest classes and interviews with students. Joshua Mellars, the showcase’s guest speaker, made this film on the importance of arts education. He delivered an empowering speech on his own arts journey which took him around the globe and into many different artistic fields before he established himself as a filmmaker.
Another brief performance from the Dance Co. came afterwards, leading directly into a vocal music performance by the Female ArtQuest Chamber Singers. Their acapella rendition of Wicked’s “Defying Gravity” was truly earth-shattering and executed flawlessly.
Photo by Rachel Owen
After this, the crowd in the auditorium dispersed to view the sessions of dance, theater, and videography, as well as the VFA, digital, and photography exhibition. I personally attended Session I of theater arts, which included two monologues, two scenes, and a drama exercise from the intermediate class.
In the auditorium, the various levels of AQ dance performed many shorter pieces in a wide array of styles. Meanwhile, the Multi-Purpose Room transformed into a visual arts gallery, featuring projects from Visual Fine Arts, photography, and digital arts classes. The entrance hallway featured the portfolios of some of the AP Visual Fine Arts students, each of which having its own theme. The pieces ranged in the media used and ideas expressed, but were all stunning. The display in the MPR included VFA’s monument, deconstructed book, and self-portrait at 80 assignments, portraits and mandalas from digital arts, and both personal and class work from the photography program.
Overall, this year’s showcase was an incredible representation of both the skill level and vibrant spirit of students and faculty of ArtQuest.