Teachers’ Take On Latin Hallway Art


Luca Ladner

Upper School art teacher Christine Holloway’s “All the Ladies Use Handkerchiefs,” which can be found in Gallery 2.

Since I can remember—all the way back to kindergarten—Latin’s hallways have always displayed works of art, typically created by community members. Recently, Gallery 2 on the second floor of the Upper School has put up an exhibit entirely of art made by Latin faculty, featuring pieces from visual arts teachers Russell Harris, Jesse Chehak, Christine Holloway, and Derek Haverland.

Mr. Harris, a Middle School and Upper School art teacher, has many portraits of people displayed in the gallery. He said he sometimes gets “snagged” on his paintings, resulting in the piece taking longer to finish. The smaller self-portrait reflects his tendency to get stuck on art.

Ms. Holloway takes “inspiration from personal imagery” when creating her art, as seen in her favorite piece, All the Ladies Use Handkerchiefs, which depicts three women in a garden.

Freshman Gordon Granat found Ms. Holloway’s piece “intriguing, as if there was a story behind the painting.”

The first time I looked around the gallery, I noticed the abstractness of Mr. Haverland’s pieces, as they stood out from the rest, forcing the viewer to analyze and interpret the illustrations on their own. For example, Mr. Haverland’s favorite piece, Melvins Goat, Number 2, was a “reaction to particular songs and the energy the [songs] brought to my studio.” The piece was made with liquid graphite, a material that he loves and plans to use for future pieces. Other works portray his reactions to real events, such as Towers, a drawing that was inspired by the attack of 9/11 and focuses on the architectural features of World Trade Towers 1 and 2.

Like many artists, inventors, and engineers, Mr. Chehak “loves making things that have never been made.” This philosophy pushes him to create his art, and guides him in his daily life. The gallery serves as a great place to display unique ideas through physical art.

“I like the location of Gallery 2,” Mr. Harris said. “It gets a lot of traffic from people. I think it’s great hearing comments from faculty, staff, and students about how much they like seeing my artwork.”

Similarly for Mr. Haverland, the gallery “is an outstanding exhibition space.” But he also said, “Before the 2014 remodeling of the lobby and entrance to the Upper School, the main staircase leading to the second floor led directly into the gallery space, allowing everyone to see the work as they entered and left the building each day. Now it’s a little less convenient to see, but still well worth the time to stop by and take a moment to appreciate.”

Ms. Holloway also thinks that “the gallery is a great place for us to showcase the range of styles and interests of the art faculty.” Mr. Chehak also said he is satisfied with the particular location.

More recognition of the gallery will always be appreciated by these artists, and in a school full of wall-art that may look similar at first glance, individual pieces require a more in-depth view to fully appreciate. However, when examined in detail, the pieces in Gallery 2 seem more special and come to life. So spread the word about the unique exhibit in Gallery 2, and take the time to appreciate the teachers who made it.