HS Artists Create Powerful Pandemic Self-Portraits

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While at home due to the school closings, high school student-artists recently created powerful pandemic self-portraits wearing medical masks as part of a special assignment on social issues in art from teachers Daniel Figliozzi, Elizabeth Gibbons and Heather Toomey.

“This was Mr. Figliozzi’s original idea, and at the time, we weren’t even sure that it would be an assignment, but if it was, the intention was to have an exhibition with all of the pieces,” Toomey said. “This is our virtual gallery and the students’ visual interpretation of self-portraits during this pandemic. They have a range of emotions from sad or lonely to hopeful and they are all wonderful. I am proud of all of the students that are continuing to make art and express themselves.”

“I believe this assignment created powerful imagery and is a clear reflection of what is happening right now in the world,” Figliozzi said. “I am proud of my students for taking the time to really think about this assignment and tackle it with everything they had. They really followed through and generated technically strong self-portraits that have an impact.”

“Jenna Scandale and Sophia Stryjewski are two students that have gone above and beyond with all of their artwork in my studio art and fashion illustration classes,” said Gibbons. “Both continue to create excellent art with what they have at home.”

Caroline Meehan, a student in Figliozzi’s drawing and painting class, painted a self-portrait on stretched canvas.

“With this painting, I tried to convey the helplessness that I think we all feel during this pandemic, especially the Class of 2020,” Meehan said. “I wanted this art to act as a message to my fellow seniors, saying that it may feel like we’ve lost a lot. Memories have been taken from us that we cannot get back. But we can still keep our heads above the water, succeed despite everything that’s trying to stop us and look to the future with hope.”