First Annual Acalanes VAPA Showcase

By Stella Heo, Staff Writer

// A shutter clicks as a camera takes a photo, capturing the essence of the moment. A mice clacks as a student makes edits to a design. A student mumbles their lines, trying to memorize their script. Music flows from inside a practice room. Acalanes High School brought together the results of all of these different forms of art into a showcase.
Students at Acalanes High School had the opportunity to attend Acalanes’ first annual Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) Showcase on Jan. 30 and 31 in the Drama Room, Library, and Performing Arts Center (PAC) to view their peers’ work.
Classes went to the showcase during different periods over the two days. The audience went first to the Drama Room, where a montage was playing of various events during the year. Then, students moved to the PAC lobby, where they viewed art from different class levels of photography, digital design, and art.
Although Acalanes has done a showcase before, this was the first time the exhibition was formally open to the whole school.
“It was really cool how you could see different classes and see what they were doing,” sophomore Sylvia Deng said.
By going to the showcase, many students saw their peers’ talents outside of academic classes.
“I was talking to [English teacher Ken Derr], and he was saying that it was interesting to see the art or the work that students produce and see and realize that ‘Woah, I didn’t know that that kid did that,’” drama teacher Ed Meehan said.
Among the types of art showcased, many students found the choir performances to be their favorite.
“I really liked the boys a capella group because it just seemed different than a normal a capella group. You could tell they practiced a lot, and they poured their hearts into the performance. They were able to showcase their talent while incorporating funny elements into their performance,” Deng said.
Students could also view their peers’ paintings and 3D art in the library. Although the library regularly features students’ art throughout the year, students chose specific pieces for the VAPA Showcase.
“I have students pick what they think is the best of things. We try to show an array of the different levels of the different assignments,” art teacher Robert Porter said.
Acalanes is not the first school to present students’ art in a showcase.
“This is an event that Las Lomas has done before, and [Instrumental Music Teacher Lauren Gibson] was at Las Lomas two years ago,” Meehan said. “We all thought that it was a good idea, and since we are already kind of doing that with Open House, we thought we’d do it kind of at the same time.”
Some artists found the showcase to be better than Open House because of the opportunity for a bigger audience.
“The showcase allows for more artists to be seen. Also, it allows for more students to see other artists’ work,” Art 2 student and senior Maxine Dorazio said.
Some wished that Acalanes had a more permanent space where artwork could be displayed, but still found the PAC as a great venue.
“We don’t really have a venue; we are not like the performing arts where they have some sort of play. It would be nice if we had a more central location, like a student gallery where people could walk in and out,” Porter said.
Because of the positive reactions, the VAPA department is considering doing it again. Some students suggested implementing a mural showcasing students’ art.
“A lot of people have been talking about doing murals, and I honestly think that would be super cool,” Art 2 and sophomore Michelle Goll said.
Overall, the performers and artists were happy with the reactions and were glad they were able to showcase their talents.
“I thought it was cool because then all my hard work can be seen by others. I honestly have no clue what I would be like today if I hadn’t had the opportunity to get into art at such a young age and further develop that love for it in high school,” Art 2, Independent Art and sophomore Maya Kelly said.

Watch the video recap below!

By Anna Yiannikos, Head Photographer

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