Short film exhibition opens on campus


Printed with permission of Grace Belgrader

Becca Berlin

Video Art II students present 30 surrealist short films during an impromptu gallery exhibition in Feldman Horn Gallery on Dec. 14. The event, open through Dec. 17, features back-to-back screenings of the student films and installations of various costumes and props included in the films.

Visual Arts Teacher Reb Limerick said although they originally did not plan to hold a student exhibition before winter break, an unexpected gallery opening inspired them to display their students’ work for the week-long event.

“[Visual Arts Teacher Brannon Rockwell-Charland] and I noticed a gap in the gallery schedule and decided to take advantage of it to organize a one-week showcase of our students’ work,” Limerick said. “We were so proud of their work and wanted to share it with the larger community.”

Hoping their students would find inspiration from the surrealist films screened in class, Limerick said they instructed students to cut down nine minutes of footage from three rolls of film to create a short film.

“[The student films] were inspired by surrealist films such as Maya Deren’s ‘Meshes of the Afternoon’ (1943) and Nuotama Bodomo’s ‘AFRONAUTS’ (2019),” Limerick said. “Once the analog film was developed and digitally scanned at Pro8mm in Burbank, each student edited their own 1-2 minute surrealist film. [They then] crafted an accompanying soundscape by recording and arranging foley, ambient, instruments and human voices”.

Max Thompson ’’23 said he used footage from his Peer Support retreat in his film to replicate the various emotions conveyed by the song used in his film.

“I was inspired by the song I used, ‘YKWIM’ by Yot Club, which has a lot of eerie undertones that I wanted to replicate by layering shadows and interesting visuals,” Thompson said. “I got home from my retreat with a lot of different ideas on what I wanted to do, so actually just making it all come together was easy.”

“We always get to share our pieces with the rest of our class, but I am so excited for my friends and family to be able to see what [I] and my peers have been creating,” Thompson said. “It makes me feel like a real, professional artist with a place to show off my work, which is super fun.”

Visual artist Grace Belgrader ’23 said she enjoyed creating foley–the reproduction of everyday sounds in filmmaking–with her friend.

“I asked a friend to play the piano for me, and we [also] used common objects to make sound effects,” Belgrader said. “It was an enjoyable process and project, and I’m excited for everybody else to see what we worked on”.

Visual artist Rohan Mehta ’23 said he found inspiration for his film while looking through the footage he collected.

“I just wanted to take all of the collective clips and see what came to me,” Mehta said. “I started looking at the clips as soon as they came out to get some inspiration and started editing.”

Limerick said they are glad the exhibit allowed students to present their art to the school community.

“The most important aspect of any public showcase, gallery exhibition or screening event that features student artwork is the opportunity for artists to be celebrated and supported by their community and for the emotional, aesthetic or social impact of their art to be felt by an audience,” Limerick said.

Mehta said he appreciates the many opportunities the school offers to visual artists who hope to share their work.

“I think that it’s so cool that we can share our artwork with our peers and that we are at a school that promotes the arts,” Mehta said.