By Annie Dreyer
After 24 years at Westlake and then Harvard-Westlake, art teacher Marianne Hall experienced something unprecedented in her career earlier this year: a piece of student artwork was defaced. An unknown agent vandalized part of Katherine Treuerâs â08 black and white expressionist drawing hung in Rugby, by filling part of it in with what seems to be yellow highlighter.
âItâs disappointing that some people have so little respect for the work of others,â Treuer said.Â âFor someone to deface something I put a lot of effort into is not only disrespectful,Â but also challenges the integrity of some students at our school.â
Student artwork has been stolen in the past and announcements have been made in the bulletin or at assemblies in hopes of the work being returned, but no art has ever been recovered.
Most student artwork serves purposes beyond being shown in the school community, like being sent as part of college applications, submitted for awards or incorporated in AP portfolios. If damage is excessive, pieces may not be able to be used for such situations, but in Treuerâs case, she will be able to restore her piece before it is photographed for future submissions.
Treuer is wary of putting more work up in the future for fear of something similar occurring again. Hall does not hang seniorsâ work in Rugby to avoid any chance of defacement, and Treuer affirms that she would refuse to hang any of her senior pieces there.