So Long, Seniors!
This week was all about seniors, with celebrations happening all week leading up to the commencement ceremony on May 21 at Robarts Arena.
Film & Animation Showcase a ‘Reel’ Success
The annual Film & Animation Showcase, “Reel Life,” was played to a packed house on May 17. Audiences clamored to view the creative works of these students in a showcase that offered both live-action and animated shorts.
The event, at Burns Court Cinema, marked a return for many to the old-fashioned buzz surrounding the opening of a new movie. After an emergence of streaming, isolated movie viewing that was only heightened by the pandemic, returning to a shared film experience, viewing the works on “the silver screen,” was exciting. Eat your heart out, Netflix! You’ll never compare to the communion created during a big film event like this one. As a matter of fact, the cinema had to open a second theater for overflow patrons.
Not only was the event well attended with enthusiasm, it also featured a sweet senior sendoff, with a video slideshow of the seniors.
Art Senior Showcase Illustrates Excellence
The VPA Art Class of 2022 opened their exhibit at the Basch Gallery at Ringling College of Art & Design on May 20. It will remain open through June 3.
Works on display were unified by a theme that was each artist’s sustained exploration. For Selby Sniegocki, the work centered on the idea of dreams. With this in mind, her creations combined paint, fabric and wax in intricate collages. The wax veneer made the images themselves feel distant, as if behind glass. Hazy, like an unsettling dream.
Sniegocki said that the process of creating these pieces taught her a lot about herself. Specifically, using a wax overlay forced her to plan to make permanent choices, which defies her penchant for impulse. It was a great lesson in planning and technique that she can carry with her to Savannah College of Art and Design, where she’ll start this fall.
Overall, the artworks were personal and as unique as the artists themselves.
On each wall hung the work of Ella Swartz, who has been a prolific artist of large pieces this year. With shows at Art Ovation, Pastry Art, and Embracing Our Differences, Swartz has been widely celebrated this year. She will attend Stetson University in the fall.
Silver Cord Ceremony Recognizes Seniors’ Accomplishment
The VPA hosted its annual Silver Cord Ceremony on May 18. In essence, the purpose of the ceremony is to celebrate the accomplishment of finishing the VPA program. Thus, seniors were given gifts and words of praise and wisdom as they embark on their next adventure.
Initially, the ceremony began in 2020 as a result of the pandemic that cancelled everything, including graduation. In response, VPA teachers decided to host their own “mini-graduation” ceremony signifying the end of the artists’ VPA journey. It was held outdoors at the Van Wezel parking lot back then. From the beginning, the ceremony was a hit, so it has become a traditional rite of passage for VPA seniors.
The purpose of the silver cord is signify the VPA completion achievement. As such, it is a part of the graduation regalia seniors cherish. Take a look at some of our amazing seniors leading up to their big day.
…And They’re Off!
The commencement ceremony for the class of 2022 was held at Robarts Arena on May 21. With uplifting and moving speeches by Chloe Sebiro, Giacomo Mutti, and Sofia Espinet-Santiago, the ceremony was full of all the elements that make Booker unique. These include tolerance, dreaming to smash boundaries, and success despite the odds.
Pre-Processional photos of the grads-to-be
Even more Booker-esque were the performances. Abbey Holdway raised the roof with The National Anthem, while our orchestra, directed by Ms. Amanda Nix, performed a quietly intense rendition of “Somewhere” from “West Side Story.” Lending another moving performance was Zephyr, with “In this Hour.”
Once again, Booker High graduates made us all proud with their intellect, talent, and unwavering expression. The world will be made better now that these graduates are entering into it as adults. Parents, once again, thank you for sharing these phenomenal artists with us.
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