Welcome back to Curatorial Conversations, where SG Curator Olex Wlasenko shares some fun and interesting tidbits of information about the upcoming exhibit. High School Confidential opens on Saturday, July 16 at 1 p.m. and is on view until Sunday, September 4. Read on to learn more!
How did you first come to the idea of this show?
Olex: High School Confidential began as a kind of an experiment. I really love visiting our sister galleries in the region when they present their annual high school exhibitions, such as the exhibits at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa and the Visual Arts Centre in Bowmanville. So, when we were planning the exhibition schedule for what was then the distant 2016, I started thinking of how Station Gallery could celebrate “sweet sixteen” – the sixteenth year of the new century and millennium.
What about the crowd-sourcing aspect of High School Confidential?
Olex: I’ve really enjoyed the buzz and verve around community and crowd-sourced exhibitions. Anything can happen with these types of participatory group shows.
Earlier this spring, SG announced an open call to youth and artists of all ages to submit artwork created during high school. The response was resoundingly positive. Over sixty works were submitted!
Olex uses a level to make sure the artwork hangs properly on the wall
Olex checks to make sure everything is level during the installation of High School Confidential
What’s the most surprising or unexpected thing to come out of this experience?
Olex: No doubt it’s the scope of output. We have art projects and independent studies representing five decades of formal and conceptual approaches at a young age. Artistic output during the teen years gauges personal evolution, restless creativity, idea building and skill development. High School Confidential captures a full range of emotions, techniques and media.
Why should someone come see this show?
Olex: This show is unlike any I’ve seen. Since it’s a crowd-sourced, inter-generational show featuring artwork created during high school days, we get a glimpse of artist’s personal keepsakes and heirlooms, along with current high school projects. Here, budding young talent is on display alongside individuals who are now practicing contemporary artists. Audiences will recognize names of practicing artists (many are now famous!) and see the beginnings of a life-long devotion to visual expression. High School Confidential celebrates half a century of teen spirit!