The art and design school’s typical end-of-year exhibit has been transformed into an online gallery.
In years past, University Prep Art and Design has held an end-of-year student art exhibit, but the typical pop-up gallery wasn’t possible this past spring – and so they had to whip up a new plan. We’ll call it the COVID pivot from here forward. Instead of an in-person gathering, school officials, teachers and students created an online gallery, Night of the Arts, showcasing the students’ art and selling professional prints for as low as $20.
Art and Design chair Manal Kadry says they looked upon this would-be negative as a chance to get, well, creative. No, they couldn’t mingle in person, but the students could still be given the opportunity to display their work – for more than just one night and reach further than Detroit.
“We’ve sold over $4,000 worth of pieces,” Kadry says. “There’s been people from all over America buying pieces. It’s just been really amazing to see how people in different states are interested in seeing our students’ work.”
Sophomore Micah Sanders’ collection features images from her web comic Dark Zone, about Aiden, a boy who’s one of a gang of people who have gone missing over the last seven years. Aiden mysteriously shows back up, “but he’s a little weird.”
The 16-year-old’s portfolio consists of the prep work she did for the comic – character design, promotional art, background images. Micah says, “I thought, at first, that portfolios had to be specifically eight images that corresponded to one theme. And, technically, this all is a theme, but it doesn’t follow the traditional portfolio format.”
You’ll find that a lot of the student work in the Night of the Arts online gallery features, focuses on or otherwise relates to their environments. “A lot of our students were at home just like everybody else,” Kadry says. “We found a way to get them to be creative in a small space, in their own space. We’ve always believed that art is a way for students to express themselves creatively in a language that everybody can understand.”