Miramonte High School's Newspaper

The Mirador

Miramonte High School's Newspaper

The Mirador

Miramonte High School's Newspaper

The Mirador

Arts Alive Week Embraces Student Craft

Emma Wong
(From left to right) Comic Club sellers Lilia Maharbiz and Amelie Lo, jewelry vendors Kaylin Chang and Josephine Ginsburg.

Handmade jewelry. Hand-drawn portraits. Fresh-baked cookies. Goods of all sorts line the tables of the Big Gym as student vendors participate in an important event of the Arts Alive Week, hosted by the VPA department on the week of Jan. 22.

Arts Alive week embodied the culmination of several years of planning by the Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) Department in an effort to promote the wide spectrum of arts classes offered at school. “We took a day in October where the department had time to work together collaboratively off-campus, and we started to toss around ideas and put them into action,” drama instructor & VPA lead Heather Cousins said.

The central aspects of Arts Alive Week were Art Markets” (held during lunch from Monday to Wednesday), Art Tasters (events during academy), and a final Arts Showcase during all English classes on Thursday and Friday.


Art Markets

Art instructor Michelle Flynn took charge of the markets. Inspired by previous student vending events, creators from a variety of classes & clubs organized booths to sell products like ceramics or paintings. “I thought [these markets] were a great way for students to connect and share their original creations,” Flynn said. “I told my students about the upcoming opportunity to sell their work right after October so that interested students would have time to create enough work to sell and get a payment system set-up, like Apple Pay.”

Junior Amelie Lo was a representative of Comic Club, which created a booth advertising bookmarks and mini “zines”— collections of sketches curated and stapled into books. In addition, Lo accompanied junior Lilia Maharbiz and seniors Indie Lee & Sarah Yang in drawing live portraits of student buyers. “We all really looked forward to selling our art for the first time and sharing our creations with people outside of our club,” Lo said.

In addition to her role at the Comic Club booth, senior Indie Lee accompanied senior Mika Strickler, junior Annabelle Ryan, sophomore Nicole Yeo in selling products from the Crochet Club. “I sold some crocheted plushies and keychains,” Lee said. “Crochet has been one of my favorite hobbies for years, and I love sharing it with others whenever I can!”

Others promoted and sold goods including handmade jewelry, fresh-baked goods, prints, & postcards.

Hand-drawn portraits by Comic Club


Prints sold by Paige Sovocool and Erin Bain
Cookies by Emerson Henwood


Art Tasters

On Wednesday and Friday, Arts Alive offered Art Tasters events, where a current VPA student would refer a friend to academy, where they would “test out” a new form of art. “The idea is to have these students try out what it’s like to, say, sing for Miramonte Choir, do some improv for theater, put some clay on a wheel and create a pot, or do some painting or try some digital design,” Cousins said.


Arts Showcase

As Arts Alive week concludes, current VPA students will visit English classes to conduct showcases of their craft, a culmination of their hard work that will be shared around campus.

Junior Lizzie Howe is one of several students chosen to represent the musical theater program during the art showcases. “We will be singing different songs from the spring musical Footloose throughout the day,” Howe said. “In the meantime, the drama class will perform their winter final, a Shakespeare piece the students shorten into ten minutes using only four black chairs as their props.”

“I personally decided to perform because it is a fun experience and a great way to promote the Musical Theater program at school,” junior and musical theater student Sophia Panos said. “I hope that students not currently enrolled in any of our arts programs can use this showcase as a learning opportunity, informing them of the many arts programs that are available to sign up for.”


From the Markets to the Tasters academies to the upcoming final showcase, all parts of Arts Alive Week encourage students to enroll in VPA classes or join a club embracing the arts. The events gave students the ability to support individual artists, learn about certain VPA classes and directly engage in a new craft. “We want to get the word out that the arts are alive and well, that we have all of these amazing programs for students, and that it’s never too late to try an art,” Cousins said.

Student vendors hope that Arts Alive Week conveys to others the identity & joy that art carries. “A lot of things I create represent who I am,” Lee said. “Events like these are important for students to share their work, their stories, their crafts,  and see how their creativity makes an impact on the community.”

Ultimately, says Flynn, art embodies a crucial pathway of expression that provides delight in being shared. “We are a creative species—we make our art in response to events that happen in our world, to document our lives, to teach. We want to be moved by an eloquent speaker or the voice of our favorite singer, we hear music and we want to dance, we see a heartbreaking scene in a movie and cry. Miramonte is a great place to start your journey down this road of self-discovery, whether you are an artist, a patron, or both.”

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About the Contributor
Emma Wong
Emma Wong, Editor-at-Large
Hi! I’m Emma, the Editor at Large for this year's Mirador. I've taken journalism for 3 years and am passionate about creative writing, particularly student spotlights, and digital design. Besides editing, I work on Adobe InDesign to structure our newspaper’s layout and design graphics. I’m looking forward to a riveting year on The Mirador!
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