William Barbee ’22
Directing my short film “Telemachy” took a great deal more work than I had originally anticipated. Despite the extremely generous grant endowed to me, producing an 8-minute long film on an approximately $1,000 budget with zero prior experience in filmmaking was challenging to say the least. I, above all, gained a much deeper appreciation for all the independent filmmakers who, like myself, face the challenge of attempting to display their seemingly perfect vision without the full resources to realize it. Special thanks to the Parents’ Association for this incredible opportunity and to all those who helped refine and produce my film.
Oliver Clapp ’23
This summer, I took an online photography course that focused specifically on landscape photography. This course taught me many important skills regarding photographing landscapes, but most importantly, it taught me the importance and necessity of using light to help capture an image. These skills allowed me to fully capture the light during the sunset on the coast of Maine. I was able to use these skills to fully understand and capture the beauty in a place in Maine that I have visited my entire life.
Dinu Danciu-Burdescu ’24
Working on the “Humans of St. Albans” project I learned how to use a professional camera and engage with different people to capture their stories, which I will include in a book. I used the skills I learned in a few on-line classes and the new lenses I acquired to shoot indoors/outdoors and capture different nuances of lighting and posing. I was inspired by the work of professional portrait photographers, like Brandon Stanton and Annie Leibovitz, who said that a picture was stunning not because of the gear or technology, but because of the story behind it. The portraits I took capture strong STA voices, showing how photography can be used as a medium to celebrate our diverse STA community and build new bonds.
Philip Duncan ’23
Set Design & Photography
This summer I endeavored to properly shoot, design, and edit a scene, specifically the process of capturing my passion of making Japanese food. Being self-taught, learning through internet blogs and YouTube videos, I acquired the skills to plate and design a sushi roll along with skills in photography. I became well versed in photo editing, lighting, photography, and food styling techniques. I produced multiple stills of the cooking process along with my adventure to find the best ingredients to prepare.
Henry Evans ’24
This summer I attended a Yellow Barn studio art class that taught me how to paint, draw, and use charcoal. I learned how to depict the human face as well as still life and landscapes. I also learned how to use grids in my drawings, enabling me to break the piece into smaller sections to get more accurate proportions by drawing a 1x1 grid on the reference picture and my paper. My two pieces were both done in colored pencil using the grid method, and both focused on the human face—one in a more realistic way, and one in a more artistic, colorful way.
Niall Fergus ’23
With my fellowship, I took a virtual course called Visual Literacy in Action at the American University, where I learned various photographic, video, and digital imaging techniques. Throughout the course, I created different pieces of art, including a photo essay, a video self-portrait, and more, all that focused on specific techniques I learned, including panning the camera in certain directions and using contrast and balance of certain colors and shades. For my final project, I was tasked with creating a short video inspired by a painting, in which case I chose a rather abstract painting of a hostage. I decided to create a suspense video hoping to create a story that had the audience at the edge of their seats until the end.
Xave Geffroy ’23
This summer I took photos of random people I encountered in the District and asked them a few questions, as well. Initially I took three photography classes with a local D.C. photographer and learned intermediate level photography skills. After that, I started the actual hands-on task, which was difficult because when I approached random pedestrians, introduced myself, and I asked for their consent to take their photo, I was faced with rejection. However, I eventually learned how to accept rejection and continue trying. On the first few days, I traveled to popular locations in D.C. and Maryland, such as the Capital One pavilion area and Takoma Park. However, I quickly realized that people were more likely to accept if we were in less public areas. Thus, by my third day, I was able to find a suitable location in Mount Pleasant where the foot traffic was sufficient, and I completed the project there. In conclusion, this project allowed me to further my photography skills, deal with rejection, better my people-skills, and shine a spotlight on the authentic people of D.C.
Josh Kim ’22
Architecture & Design
St. Albans has been a huge part of my life, and to honor and acknowledge the time I’ve spent at this school, I wanted to design a new arts center. So, over the summer, I attended the Pre-College Architecture Program at Carnegie Mellon University to better my architectural skills and my creative thinking. Using what I learned and taking inspiration from the St. Albans campus, I then created an arts center using 3D software.
Thaddeus Leiphart ’24
Painting: Still Life & Watercolor
This summer, I attended an art class in painting still life at the Torpedo Factory, and an art class in painting with watercolor with Smithsonian. From the still life art class, I learned how to shade objects properly and look for tone. I also learned how to portray light reflecting off of surfaces. In the watercolor class, I learned how to effectively use warm and cool colors together to create an image that looked more alive. I would like to use what I have learned in these classes to further my understanding of art and better my artwork in the future.
Ryan Matin ’23
Throughout my New York Film Academy one week online filmmaking class, I learned how to turn my conceptual ideas into a well-constructed film. One of the main focuses during the course of the program was maintaining narrative continuity (consistency in actions, information, performance, and props), spatial continuity (consistency of eye-lines, 2D & 3D spaces, screen direction, and the 180 rule), and temporal continuity (consistency in the way time passes). More generally, we also focused on filming and editing techniques on Adobe Premiere Rush. After three days of class, we made a short 1-3 minute film about any topic of our choice, with the one restriction being we cannot speak at all in the entirety of it. I created a short comedic film about Jeff Bezos putting a bounty on me. Ultimately, this class gave me the skills I need to create a powerful documentary. More specifically, a documentary that spreads awareness about the conditions that Afghan immigrants and refugees must endure and how that applies to the struggles immigrant and refugee communities face in general. My desire to make this documentary is what motivated me to participate in this specific course and my experiences were invaluable.
Will Sauers ’22
Architecture & Design (in partnership with Duncan Smith ’22)
When constructing the model in the 3-D environment of Autodesk Revit, I quickly realized that the software was much more complex than we previously thought. I turned to a skill share course, as well as a variety of YouTube videos, to fill in the gaps in my knowledge. With this new information, I used experimentation to figure out the best ways to construct our model. During the construction I went through many different iterations of the design, adding and subtracting a multitude of elements, but eventually settled on a final product that we loved.
Duncan Smith ’22
Architecture & Design (in partnership with Will Sauers ’22)
When I was thinking about how to design the building, I drew inspiration from our own Marriott hall with the boxy, minimalistic style of architecture. I also looked at buildings such as Fallingwater and various contemporary homes around the country. From there, I used a pencil and paper to make a drawing of our design and then passed it along to Will to create a virtual model.
Fletcher Shaw ’22
This summer I took a class with the Rhode Island School of Design on art using recyclable materials. I studied many artists whose art is virtually 100% recycled materials, and I learned to treat basically anything as a potential material or medium. We made a few small pieces in the class, and my personal favorite was the collage. After completing the class I asked the school archivist and my B Form homeroom teacher, Mr. Wilkerson, if he had any spare materials in the archives that would soon be thrown away. He provided me with many old copies of the Saint Albans News, Independent, and other materials that I used to create my project. Many thanks to the Parents Association, Mr. Sturtevant, and Mr. Wilkerson for making this fellowship possible.
Will Spector ’23
Painting: Surrealist & Still Life
This summer I decided to pursue an art fellowship with the intention of studying the movement of surrealism. I wanted to finish three surrealist paintings, and in addition to my independent study of surrealism, I took a 10-week course on still life painting to improve my fundamental painting skills, which would help me with my surrealist paintings, as well. The class taught me how to paint metal, glass, fabric, foliage, and many other common textures and surfaces, which greatly aided me when I was working on my surrealist paintings. I ended the summer with several finished and unfinished still life paintings, practice paintings, and three completed surrealist paintings.
Jack Sutton ’24
Over the summer my family and I went on a road trip through Colorado and New Mexico. During the trip we visited places such as Estes Park, Taos, and Great Sand Dunes National Park, to name a few. Prior to the trip I took a week of photography classes where I learned the different techniques photographers use to take pictures, such as the rule of thirds. In all I took around nine hundred photos ranging from close ups of the fauna to vast landscapes of dusty deserts. The four you see before you best illustrate the atmosphere and feeling I felt make up the West.
Tristan Terrell ’22
What is the meaning of life?
Do we have a greater purpose?
What is our place in the universe?
Do we understand the true nature of our reality?
For many people, particularly during the pandemic’s isolation, these existential questions often plagued our minds. We turn to religion and philosophy to put these thoughts at ease but can never truly bury them. As a result, art can offer an escape and the essential means to subconsciously communicate deeper truths, filling the void of higher connection and purpose. Friedrich Nietzsche put it best when he said, “Art is not merely an imitation of the reality of nature, but in truth a metaphysical supplement to the reality of nature, placed alongside thereof for its conquest.” Thus, using the medium of film, I wanted to produce a piece that would emulate these themes, creating a way to relate and visualize existential dread.
Graham Webber ’23
I love to fish, but when I began to make my own lures, I realized that I needed to improve my skills to make my lures visually appealing. So I studied carving with Mike Connors, a carving teacher at Woodcraft of Washington. We began by focusing on learning how to carve simple shapes and details using basic cuts, but I also learned how to make wood come alive with intricate curves and lines. After mastering the main skills of carving, I compiled my newfound techniques to make two realistic fish carvings—a rock bass and a rainbow trout. The skills and techniques I learned this summer helped me carve wood much better and more intricately, and I will continue to use them to carving future projects.