50 works in 50 days: North Penn’s very own virtual art show


Julia Kim

Due to the fact that COVID-19 has prevented the art department from having their traditional art show, they decided to utilize social media to showcase all of the amazing artwork for everyone to see.

LANSDALE — In a year full of uncertainty and change, artists have been expressing themselves through their art, creating an escape for them and those who witness it. Art can convey an abundance of messages and emotions, and this year, it’s important as ever that people experience the most art has to give.

As a result of the Coronavirus early in the year, North Penn’s art department had to take a different approach to showcase artwork from last year’s artists. Their answer: Social media.

In a technology-oriented world, it was only a matter of time before North Penn’s art would be brought to social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter. Art Department head and Computer Animation teacher, Michael Werner, explained the art department’s reasoning.

One of the things we looked at as a department was to find ways in which we could share student work and get students looking at each other’s work,” he said. “In years past we would have things hanging in J pod, we’d have things on the monitors and we’d have things in the auditorium lobby, but with few students in the building, they’re just not getting that exposure.”

This year, students, staff, and community members can find authentic art, especially during the 50 works in 50 days virtual art show. Colleen Cooney, AP Studio Art and Design teacher expressed her opinions on the mid-year art show.

The social media platforms have provided an opportunity for artwork to be seen by an entirely new audience,” she stated. “But a virtual art show doesn’t encompass all of the work each student in the department has created.” 

Having an art show that is virtual allows students that wouldn’t have necessarily ever gone to J-pod during their day to see art from their fellow students. It also benefits the students at home all the time to experience something that is reminiscent of a normal event at North Penn.

The opinions from art students vary, much like their instructors, about the unprecedented situation. For art student, Julia Kim, she’s very pleased with what the virtual art show can do for both artists and people in the community who are interested in seeing North Penn art.

“It’s definitely different compared to the art shows previously held,” Kim admitted. “But I think it’s exciting how North Penn has adapted to the current situation and moved everything online. It’s also way more convenient to view my peers’ work.”

Another opinion comes from art student, Kaylee Corbi, whose view is less optimistic. 

“I’m not as excited because it’s not an event where you go to see everything in one place,” she said. “It doesn’t have as much of a presence.”

Normally, North Penn’s art show has an abundance of paintings, drawings, sculptures, and more on display for people to go and experience. With only 50 works in the art show, there are significantly less than the normal amount shown, but the objective of spreading inspiration is still there.

“We, as artists, are trying to challenge our viewers to see the world in our eyes and this is a way to open that up to a bigger population,” Werner explained.  “Inspiration exists but it must find you working. It’s important that we get out and look at each other’s work and we get inspired.”

Inspiration is a fitting representation of what the virtual art show means in 2020. The act of inspiring is a necessity in today’s environment and seeing new creativity every day is an incentive for those who need it to keep working on their goals.

Check out North Penn’s Virtual Art Show:

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