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1_17Milton Academy art students’ work is visible everywhere on campus throughout the year. Twice a year-each winter and spring-outstanding student art is exhibited in the Nesto Gallery, as part of the gallery’s year-long calendar of exhibits. The MidYear Student Art Show opens Thursday, February 13, and runs through March 11.

The student shows are a 20-year tradition. “It’s a celebration of expression,” says Gordon Chase, visual arts faculty member and chair of the department. “We cover the gallery walls salon-style. We create an instant and magnificent sensory overload.

“Hanging the show is a great puzzle,” Gordon says. “It’s always exciting for students to see their art in a professional gallery. Sometimes the show spills out into other spaces.”

This year’s first show will feature the work of Class I, II and III students from classes in studio art, photography, wood studio, drawing and sculpture. The work includes autobiographical print-making for Class I students in the Independent Art course; student drawings that are in response to Ellie Wiesel’s classic Night and viewing Schindler’s List; collages and “box constructions” that echo the style of modern sculptor Joseph Cornell; models of fantasy dream houses; giant masks that are to be used in an original student dance performance in April; and interpretive drawings that render a poem or other written work.

“Art is a language,” Gordon says, “and we teach students how to use it to express coherently something powerful in their lives-to distinguish their perspective from everyone else’s and to clarify it for other people.

“The work may be comical, outrageous, shocking, or beautiful. The thing is to put it out there [for others to see],” Gordon explains. He explains that the philosophy of the visual arts faculty is distinct from that at other national independent schools. “We specialize in supporting the success of the majority,” he says. “Art is important to everyone, not just to the natural or inevitable stars. We believe that all students can find success in expressing themselves through the arts. This philosophy is at the heart of what we do.”

The Academy also fosters its natural stars and it is their exceptional work, Gordon says, that is showcased in the semi-annual shows.

The opening reception for the student show is slated for Thursday, February 13, at 6 p.m. The Nesto Gallery is open 8:30-3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday; admission is free and open to the public. The gallery is located in the lower level of the Science Building. For more information call 617-898-2356.