GHS Fine Arts Department launches first annual spring show

Students from Elia Scettrini's Spanish class read their classmates autobiographies at the art gallery opening Tuesday.

The Gilroy High School fine art department debuted student artwork at the first annual spring show and gallery opening at the GHS Caesar Chavez Library.

The show, which runs weekdays through June 6, is the brainchild of GHS fine arts department teachers and its chairperson, Annie Tobin. At the gallery opening Tuesday, students showcased works from nearly every art discipline taught at GHS such as sculpture, floral design, digital design and music.

Students and faculty said the gallery recognizes how art is beneficial for students’ academic and personal growth. “Art is a form of expression and uses a different form of intelligence,” Tobin said. “Art rounds out an education and teaches creativity. Everyone needs creativity.”

GHS Junior Paulo Lacuitti, who has a drawing and acrylic painting showcased at the gallery, said he enjoys making art because it allows him to express himself and he can share it with his girlfriend.

“I started off doing art because it looked cool and because of a girl I liked,” he said.

That initial interest has blossomed into something more during his time at GHS, as Tobin and the department staff helped Lacuitti improve his skills and branch out.

“Mrs. Tobin taught me how to shade and other techniques,” said Lacuitti. “She has helped out a lot.”

The art show also displays non-traditional works such as Spanish class students’ autobiographies about their life journeys. Elia Scettrini, GHS Spanish teacher, said the autobiographies help students become comfortable writing and expressing their feelings.

“I want to break away their fear of expression and fear of writing,” Scettrini said. “I tell them not to be afraid of writing and tell them, ‘If you write one sentence, you are a writer.’”

In the autobiographies, students go through the process of editing, revision and publishing and discuss 12 to 14 topics ranging from their first memories and their favorite childhood toy to their best friend and greatest fear.

Tobin said there are plans to expand the selection of artwork in future years.

“We want to add culinary art and woodworking next year; the idea is to have all the ‘making’ classes highlighted,” Tobin said. “Hopefully, Christopher High School and eventually junior high schools will join us in order to make it a district wide art gallery.”