Alumni leave behind legacy on the walls


During senior Foster Seifert’s art class, he draws a still life picture. In the fall, the artwork of recent graduates is selected for the collection of pieces displayed around the school. Photo by Claire Satkiewicz

Among several other art pieces on the walls near the Deans’ Office, a photo of a pair of shoes that once belonged to Alumna Christine Baumann (’15) hangs on the wall. Her photograph is one of 187 displayed pieces of artwork belonging to a collection started by art teachers Lee Block and Justin Gerbich in 1991. 

“To have something that was chosen for the collection is a huge honor, and knowing that it’s going to be there for a really long time is really cool,” Baumann said in a phone interview.

According to Block, art teachers narrow down the pieces for the collection and then present them to the principal and associate principals to select for the collection.

“We are looking for something that will stand the test of time,” said Block. “So instead of being something that’s trendy, [students] have a body of work that we can look at and say, ‘Are these some pieces that would be a good representation of that particular group of students that graduated that year?’”

The pieces in the collection are chosen in the fall from the work of the recently graduated senior art students created during their time in art classes. 

As many as six or seven pieces are chosen every year to be added to the collection, Block said.

“Those pieces would be anything from ceramics to photography, graphics, drawings, paintings or mixedmedia on display, and every couple of years, we change them out and move them around,” Block said. 

For Baumann, her photo that ended up on display was part of her AP Art Portfolio. 

When creating her portfolio, her AP Studio Art and Design classmates helped strengthen one another’s pieces, Baumann said. 

The students would present their art pieces for their classmates who would then provide critiques and feedback, Baumann said.

She really loved this part of the art class because of the collaborative effort to improve each other’s art pieces, Baumann said. 

“It means a lot [having my work up in the school],” said Baumann. “I don’t know how often they replace those pictures on the wall, [but] it felt really good to be recognized for something that I really enjoyed doing.”