Display cabinets allow art students to show work

Ashleigh Robinson

The beginning of the main hall is tickled with artwork; paintings, drawings, and sculptures alike. The artwork pieces are tacked on the walls and displayed in a total of four cabinets, two built into the main hallway, and two just off the cafeteria entrance. The artwork sits above name tags of the artists who conjured up the ideas that the pieces portray, as well as what teacher’s class the art comes from. But many students wonder: who started this tradition of displaying student art pieces, and why does it happen?
Art teacher Nancy Kizis has been teaching the subject for 17 years, and the tradition of showcasing artwork in the hall has been going on long before she arrived.
“I imagine the first art teacher at Rider started it, but [art] teachers have always done it,” Kizis said.
She herself thinks it’s very important to display the artwork because “art needs to be around us all the time.”
She also believes that displaying the work gives students a sense of pride, motivation, the opportunity to exhibit their talents, and also provides a richer learning environment for the school.
“Art expands their [students] ideas and thinking,” Kizis said.”Hopefully art causes a reaction in the viewer.”
Often times the viewer is a student who is not enrolled in an art class. Kizis hopes that by the student seeing the art, they will feel the urge to “make their own [art], or sign up for an art class.”
The pieces often seen in the hall may be thought of as the cream of the crop, and most of them are, but sometimes Kizis will choose a student’s work that isn’t necessarily the greatest.
“If I recognized that they worked really hard on it, I put it on display as a reward,” Kizis said.
Junior Hunter Maitlen can identify with this. She has had her artwork on display, even though she didn’t think her pieces were worthy.
“I felt happy that my art was good enough for display,” Maitlen said.
Initially, she didn’t feel like she created good work, but seeing her art on display gave her a burst of pride that led her to feel “like I did something actually pretty good.”
Maitlen thinks it’s a good idea to showcase the art pieces. By doing so, she points out that she can show her friends and other art students get to show their artistic ability.
“I think it’s cool because I made something that I like, and people get to see it,” said Maitlen. “I can show my friends, too.”