It was the brainchild of one Dwight student. It became a collaboration across four Dwight School campuses. And it showcases 80 pieces of original art: Dwight’s “20x20” traveling art exhibit, which is currently on display in our Quad.
Last winter, Jin Hanbyul Lee ’16 of Dwight School Seoul had an idea to spark a global conversation and unite our network of schools in an exciting and creative project. He invited students in grades 6-12 from New York, London, Vancouver Island, and from his home campus in Seoul to participate in what would become a thought-provoking exhibit that has since journeyed around the world.
Working on this cross-campus collaboration with his mentor, Visual Arts teacher Carlos Noguera, Jin chose a broad but probing theme and posed the question, “How do you see the world?” Encouraging students “to consider environmental and social challenges in our society today,” they answered the query through art.
With no limits placed on creativity, but a few logistical considerations in mind, each piece would have to be the same size ― 20x20 inches ― and capable of being shipped flat in just one package that would make its way from school to school.
As the call to participate spread across Dwight campuses, a flourish of artistic activity ensued. Students were eager to share their creative sparks of genius. Each school contributed 20 multimedia works of art showcasing a wealth of collective talent and intriguing individual perspectives.
With 80 different answers to the same question, the artwork reflects a range from optimism to cynicism, through hopeful images of a peaceful world to anguished images of a world at risk. Views of land, city, and sea are interspersed with flights of fantasy. Creatures and animals, real and imaginary, are seen alongside self-portraits of artists, peering thoughtfully from their canvases, representing that essential truth: We all see the world in our own way.
The riveting exhibit debuted in the Spahn gallery at Dwight School Seoul and made its way to London for leg two. Now in New York, the art will arrive at its final destination in Canada this spring.
One of the New York students who contributed and whose spark of genius is art, Rebekka Christophersen ’15, shares her thoughts, “I grew up between Oslo, Jerusalem, Beirut, and New York, so I was excited by the idea of participating in an art project connecting Dwight students who study around the world. I also enjoyed the idea that each piece would be the same size, meaning all students had the same starting point from which they could express themselves. This is a brilliant way of presenting the unique nuances of every individual as well as our common human experiences.”
Rebekka explains how she developed her piece: “The first image that came to my mind when considering the question, ‘How do you see the world?’, was of the people I surround myself with. Considering my current New York environment, these people materialized into portraits of my closest New York City friends. I find encouragement and inspiration in their warmth, wisdom, and various strengths. I drew their heads hovering above the Brooklyn Bridge, since Williamsburg was where we first bonded over common music interests. I think people, particularly youth, are the most significant resource in battling societal challenges, so in this piece I am bringing this to light.
We want to thank Rebekka and all the students whose work appears in the 20x20 exhibit. Also, we want to give kudos to Jin for his imagination and leadership ― and a special tip of our hat to him for his wonderful performance at our all-campus Carnegie Hall concert last month. A member of the Seoul Chamber Ensemble, he played a violin solo, demonstrating that he is, indeed, multi-talented!
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