Student exhibition ‘Uncommon Core’ to showcase Bearden arts downtown


Taylor A. Johnson

Seniors Corinne Brown and Maggie Berry finish last minute preparations for the “Uncommon Core” art show.

Helen Law, Staff Writer

Bearden has always had an exceptional, accomplished art community, as indicated by the creativity that manifests on its walls. Colorful visual compilations permeate hallways and spaces all over the school, evident of the fantastically expressive minds present on campus. The creative body has another opportunity to achieve recognition this week through “Uncommon Core” – the student produced and organized art gallery, exclusively by Bearden.

Besides visual artwork, “Uncommon Core” also features Bearden female a cappella and a teacher band Vinyl Tap. Last year, “Uncommon Core” garnered more than 500 visitors the opening day, despite pouring rain, making it the biggest event that year at Paulk and Co.

The second annual “Uncommon Core” begins this Friday downtown at 510 Williams St. at Paulk and Co., who provides the professional judge for the competition. “Uncommon Core” will feature a myriad of art forms and mediums, from 2-D, 3-D, and even 4-D.

“[4-D] is the art of time, which is anything time-based, like video art, gifs, animation, stop-motion,” Bearden art teacher Mrs. Anna Boyd said.

While sharing their creativity with the community, students also gain experience in the professional art world.

“I think exhibitions are the key to giving students real world experience as an artist,” Mrs. Boyd said. “That exposure is a whole other factor that opens up doors for students.”

The Honors and AP art students are the primary organizers of the events, and their work has covered everything from designing advertising, to creating professional price stickers for the artworks.

“What’s really nice about this show is that they will be able to sell their work if they want, and we had a couple of people sell their work last year,” Mrs. Boyd said. “Not only does it get exposure, but you can potentially make money from this as well.”

“Uncommon Core” is an opportunity for students who don’t normally receive recognition to have public exposure.

“I think it’s super cool because we have a lot of talent in our class that a lot of people don’t see – ever,” senior and AP art student Maggie Berry said. “There’s actually some pretty good artists in this class that a lot of people don’t think about.”

Berry’s piece in the exhibition is a compilation of various succulents painted in gouache, a paint with some similarities to watercolor. For students like Berry, visual expression isn’t just a hobby; it’s a future career path. Berry intends to pursue interior design after high school.

“A lot of people think [interior design] is pretty easy, but there’s a lot of architecture involved,” Berry said. “It’s pretty much just how things are composed, how the inside of a building is set up, and how you want to make it work.”

And for many students, like senior and AP art student Sarah Crowley, artistic expression is often a tool for emotional relief. Crowley’s artistic concentration is creating metaphorical visualizations of “psychological impairments or triumphs”.

“I’m doing visual representations of not just the surface of what a mentally afflicted person looks like, but kind of what their problem would look like if it were physical,” Crowley said.

Her piece in the exhibition is an image of driftwood in the foreground, composed of acrylic mixed with sand on canvas.

“For me, [depression] feels like you’re getting washed around in a big ocean of whatever you’re feeling,” Crowley said. “You’re there, but you don’t really belong in that, wood doesn’t belong in the ocean, you know?

“It’s kind of like even if you’re caught up in the ocean, you’re going to be okay. You’re going to get out of it and used for beautiful purposes eventually. And that’s actually my mindset about depression.”

Crowley is also interested in pursuing a career in art.

“All of my teachers I’ve had so far have been adamant about wanting me to teach art some day,” Crowley said. “It’s kind of something that comes naturally to me.”

For students like Crowley, their chance to be art teachers is furthered by professional experiences like “Uncommon Core.”