Most high schools have an art department, but Archer’s Eastern Star Gallery program is less common. The program takes advantage of Archer’s location in Brentwood by exposing students to the Los Angeles art scene and immersing them in all aspects of the art world, including business.
“This [program] is really about the students in the gallery learning how to deal with the whole art world and seeing it from the inside and putting up entire shows on our own,” said Sonia Miklaucic ’16. “As far as I know there aren’t a lot of other programs like this.”
Other students echoed this sentiment, citing the unique opportunities offered by the program as one of their favorite aspects of the gallery.
“I think we’re just about the only school to have a program that actually has students working with incredibly well-known artists,” Ciel Torres ‘17, who works as the gallery’s social media director, said.
“We actually curate the shows. Everything that a gallery does, whether it’s finance, budgets or PR, everything is done by the students,” she said.
The program will be run slightly differently this year than it has been in the past. Instead of being offered as an elective, it is an extracurricular. Every member applies for the program and commits their time to the gallery both inside and outside of school.
“Before, seeing as it was an elective, you had people who were placed in a class they didn’t want to be in,” said Miklaucic. “Now you really only have people who are very committed to it and really wanted to be a part of it, so I think that’s a major change this year.”
Gallery meetings occur every Tuesday during X block and Friday at lunch. The meetings serve as a collaborative workspace in which Faculty Advisor Chad Attie oversees all members of the program as they contribute ideas and perform their assigned tasks.
“They’re all such uniquely talented individuals,” India Halsted ‘17, Director of Documentation, said of her fellow members. “Each one of them contributes something amazing.”
Gallery students hope to further their outreach and influence this year, both in the Archer community and in the Los Angeles community as a whole.
“Over the past couple of years we’ve been gaining a lot of recognition from some really big people in L.A., and we’re definitely revamping and working with more professional people,” Torres said. “We’re being invited to openings, we’re hosting talks, we’re just getting on the map.”
“We’re trying to find a way to bring it into the Archer environment a little bit more,” Miklaucic said. “We’ve thought about putting more installation art and sculptures into the courtyard just to grab people’s attention and get people a little bit more interested in it.”
Eastern Star Gallery’s upcoming show, entitled The North, features L.A.-based artist Enrique Martinez Celaya and his large sculpture of a house. It will also involve an installation piece in the courtyard.
“The show is about this idea of home in the most abstract sense and how our expectations of that collide with our reality, and how it determines our futures,” Torres said. “You’ll have to come to the opening to hear what it’s really about. [Enrique] can say it much more beautifully than I can.”