Winn Bartos ’21
For my visual arts fellowship, I took digital photos around Washington D.C. of monuments and buildings with a visual interest. I used a method of textile design, hydro-dipping, to print those pictures onto special film and transfer the image onto a pair of shoes. I had to learn how to successfully use the medium of hydro-dipping while also improving my skills in photography and Photoshop. I faced many challenges in learning how to hydro-dip, but I managed to refine my method after many trials and failures that I believe have made me a better artist.
Charlie Boggs ’23
My project allowed me to capture digital photographs of the native wildlife that inhabits the Chesapeake Bay of Maryland, as well as local crab and oyster watermen whose families have been working the water for generations. I spent time with Annapolis-based documentary photographer, Jay Fleming, who provided me with technical photography instruction and guidance. We traveled by boat to Smith Island, a remote island that hosts the Chesapeake’s largest Brown Pelican nesting colony, an egret sanctuary, as well as homes to the various species that are vital to the Chesapeake Bay watershed. I was able to learn about the environmental factors that are harming the bay as well as the lifestyle and history of the local watermen.
Erick Buendia ’22
This summer, I was able to learn about the filmmaking process through the help of the PA fellowship. I learned about the pre-production process and production process as well as the techniques used in movies to accentuate storytelling. I also learned about the importance of collaboration during the shooting process. Although I wasn’t able to go into the production process due to circumstances out of our control, I have my film concept and script completed in a movie look book and ready to begin filming as soon as I am able. I am excited to continue learning about filmmaking, and I am grateful for the opportunity that I was able to be involved in my own movie. I came up with the idea of my movie by looking at what was easily available to me. I shaped the narrative of a horror movie around the sets that I had, which are a shed and a basement. I want to keep pursuing filmmaking and make many more movies in the future.
Aidan Chalk ’23
Over the summer of 2020, I used a drone to photograph nature in order to further my appreciation for it. Since D.C. has a no fly zone, I had to travel to Virginia and Maryland in order to take photos. This picture was taken at the Liberty Reservoir in Maryland in an early morning fog. Thanks to the fellowship, I was able to capture another perspective of nature which deepened my understanding of the beauty of nature.
Graham Chandler ’21
For my Visual Arts Fellowship, I went to the Virginia Institute of Blacksmithing and forged a hunter’s knife. The project consisted of blacksmithing a knife using a charcoal forge and 1075 high carbon steel. After the knife was hammered out, the steel was heat treated, ground down, and sharpened. The handle I choose is hard maple, held in place by copper pins. I found the experience challenging, it was both physically and mentally demanding. To be able to work with a forge and large power tools for the first time was unsettling, especially with a mostly hands off instructor. I learned a lot about blacksmithing, working with steel and how to create something that is simply meant to be a tool.
Theo Johnson ’23
Our short film “Chore 6” is the culmination of a two-week film camp in which we learned the basics of shooting and pre-production, weeks of writing, location scouting, storyboarding, and preparation, seven days of shooting in two different states, and weeks of editing, VFX, and music production. Throughout this process, I learned the importance of preparation to the creation of a finished product, the basics of color grading, and the huge pipeline it takes to create a single VFX shot. “Chore 6” is a topical film that speaks to many relevant issues such as the Coronavirus, the BLM movement, and the importance of togetherness even during times of isolation.
Matthew Merril ’22
This summer was certainly full of unexpected twists and turns, studies of art being no exception. I initially sought to study “Plein Air” or landscape painting, but when the class I selected was moved into a virtual setting, I found a passion for drawing still life accompanied by a detailed landscape. The piece I chose was the Peace Cross and Little Sanctuary shown during winter. The Yuletide time at school is a visually stunning experience, no matter where one looks.
John Rhee ’23
The video JT and I created over the summer centers around the idea of a headphone set as a weapon. The idea was created with a simple thought process: We came up with an initial scene (in this case it was “waking up first at a sleepover”), then tweaked it until we had a plot we liked. Due to the film camp we attended not being in person, in addition to JT and I living somewhat far apart, we did not have the optimal resources (good camera/audio equipment, actual actors, meeting in person frequently, etc.) to film this. However, the primary and most important thing gained here was learning the creative process and expressing ideas through film.
Will Sauers ’22
In my Fellowship, I was supposed to learn how to use acrylic paint to create accurate metallic objects in my paintings. I also was supposed to attend a class at the torpedo factory in Alexandria Virginia. However due to COVID-19 concerns, the class was cancelled, and I had to learn through experimentation and research on YouTube videos.
Ben Shorb ’21
Originally, my Visual Arts Fellowship presentation was going to be entirely centered around the concept of dark photography. I planned on attending an in-person, one-week course in which I would have learned the fundamentals of photography that takes place in the dark, would have had opportunities to share my work, and have it critiqued by peers. However, this course was canceled due to the unexpected pandemic that swept our world at the beginning of last spring. Rather than attempting to hold strong with my topic and teach myself dark photography, I decided to embrace the new situation and center my fellowship work around the pandemic and what it meant to our community.
I decided to sign up for a new course with a curriculum based on documentary photography and the first steps one might take in pursuing it. This unexpected course of action resulted in an experience that I found myself loving. With eight other students by my side, we each learned the basics of creating a story inside a single photo, how one can display an entire narrative with a mere shadow, and how a few excellent shots can be enough to form a proper documentary. As one might expect, many of my peers and I were captivated by the notion of a COVID documentary. However, I wanted to narrow my topic a bit more, so I decided to focus my documentary on the disconnect between children and societal norms during the pandemic, specifically in the case of playgrounds. As you will see in my work, playgrounds during COVID-19 have been lost, and the images in my project create a sense of distress and sadness in the viewer.
Duncan Smith ’22
When I decided that I wanted to do a summer visual arts fellowship, I knew that I wanted to do something completely different from what I do regularly in the art studio. I thought about how I could accomplish this while still doing something that would help me improve as a painter, and I decided that I wanted to stay in Brooklyn, New York, and take pictures of anything and everything. I wanted to examine the people of Brooklyn because I always listen to music made in the 90s by Brooklyn rappers (notably The Notorious B.I.G.), and I hoped that observing the birthplace of that type of music would immerse me more into that culture. I feel that I accomplished that goal, and I believe that this experience broadened my horizons in the world of visual arts.
Charlie Sturtevant ’23
This summer Theo Johnson and I produced a short film with an original score. We made “Chore 6” after attending a virtual film camp which taught us about shooting video, pre-production, and post-production. During filming we both learned the significant impact of preparation and planning on the outcome of a film, along with the specific aspects of production such as lighting, framing, and color grading. “Chore 6” also serves as a commentary about some issues going on in the world such as COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Jack Thomas ’23
This summer, I was fortunate to take weekly virtual art classes through the Yellow Barn Studio. Each week, I painted one to two paintings in a specified style for group critiques during the classes. This experience helped me learn the technical skills of painting, along with lessons on the styles of landscape composition such as classicism and romanticism. I feel I grew a lot as an artist. In particular, I transitioned from using acrylic paints to oil paints, which allowed my paintings to have more depth. I am grateful to the Parents’ Associations for granting my fellowship, which gave me this opportunity.
JT Willard ’23
John and I were able to attend a virtual core film making camp together for two weeks where we learned about the creative and editing processes of filmmaking. Although we had time constraints during the camp, we were able to film with each other and edit a good horror film about a sleepover with our limited resources and new knowledge.