The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School

The Black and White

The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School

The Black and White

The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School

The Black and White

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June 17, 2024

Whitman hosts 61st annual Festival of the Arts

On April 24 and 25, Whitman held its 61st annual Festival of the Arts. This event featured Whitman’s art and music departments, showcasing students’ artistic talents and accomplishments.

Visual art exhibits filled the commons, including work from photography, studio art, digital art and ceramics classes. In the auditorium, students from choir, band and orchestra classes performed live pieces.

Junior Nomi Bortnick was involved in the festival’s musical and visual art displays. She plays the French horn in wind ensemble and was also asked to join chamber orchestra, a selective orchestra, in their first number of the festival performance. Her wind ensemble class has been preparing for Festival of the Arts since January. Bortnick also takes ceramics, where she has worked all school year to produce her pieces. One of her favorite pieces she made this year is a sculpture of a waterfall.

“I like hand-building better than throwing on the wheel, so I decided to combine that with my love of kayaking and make a waterfall,” Bortnick said.

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The well-attended event drew a diverse crowd, including students, parents, staff and other community members. In addition to the variety of student showcases, Whitman offered food trucks, like Ben and Jerry’s, for attendees.

Ceramics teacher Kathleen Mulholland said that her decision to pursue a career in art education stems from her passion and dedication to the field.

“I have a fair amount of artists in my family,” Mulholland said. “I majored in printmaking, and so I think I’d just like to pass it along to the high school level.”

Seniors Elola Eckford and Elizabeth Abbott are heavily involved in the arts offered at Whitman. Both students underwent rigorous preparation for Festival of the Arts. Eckford, enrolled in AP Drawing, created 15 pieces that shared a common theme for the AP curriculum. Abbott, a member of chamber choir, had been practicing performance pieces since the beginning of the second semester. 

Eckford and Abbott agreed that the arts allow them to express their authentic selves.

“When I’m drawing, when I’m painting, I feel like it’s a way that I use to visualize or represent the world around me as I see it,” Eckford said. “It’s really cool seeing how other people view the world.”

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Sophie Counts, Photographer
Grade 11

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