The Wilson Atrium, usually only home to a fishy stench and kids ditching class, came alive with art on May 25 during the fourth annual Wilson Arts Fest. There was a huge drawing hanging over the front entrance, an open mic by the cafeteria, and numerous tables, each with a different student selling artwork.
The Wilson Arts Fest is a week long event. Each day of the week different activities for students took place during lunch, such as henna tattooing and t-shirt sales. During the school day on the 25th there was also a panel on positive vs. negative lyrical content and a musical performance hosted by Wilson choir teacher, Lori Williams.
But the highlight of the weeklong celebration was the art show that took place after school on the 25th. Students from all grades sold a variety of artwork, including prints, photos, paintings, sculptures, and much more. The Wilson Greenhouse also had a table selling plants and the Cooking Club sold brownies and tea.
Wilson art teacher, Mary Lambert, organized the Arts Fest with help from Wilson parent Serena Wiltshire. Lambert wanted to give her students the opportunity to sell their artwork and gain confidence through experience and sales.
Among the students selling their art was junior Paloma Barada, who started making various types of art after taking a class with art teacher Avram Walters her freshman year. The majority of Barada’s art depicts women. “It feels good to be able to draw the female body in a non sexual way,” she said of her nude drawings.
Women seemed to be a common theme throughout the show. Junior Claire Shaw sold artwork commenting on the sexualization of women in the media and junior Nasirah Fair performed a poem about being a Black woman in the United States at the open mic.
“I want to evoke emotion. I want everyone to feel something different,” said junior Matthew Bailey of his artwork. Bailey’s vivid, colorful photographs depicted life as a teenager in DC while his illustrations portrayed famous Black males of color, such as artist Jean-Michel Basquiat and musician Chance the Rapper.
In the end, senior Lorin Kayla Holland stole the show with her performance of “Love on the Brain” by Rihanna at the open mic. Her strong, stunning voice rang through the atrium as everyone turned their heads to listen.
There may have still been a slight fishy smell in the atrium but no one had any time to notice.