As high school reunions go, this one sets the bar pretty high.
From architectural design, to fashion, jewelry, and more traditional forms of two dimensional artwork, an exhibit in Vancouver’s Yaletown district celebrates 20 years of creative drive, since the first class of Grade 12 students graduated from Langley Fine Arts School.
On Your Mark, running now to May 22, features dozens of original works of art and design, which were created by LFAS graduates after they left high school.
Fine arts teacher Nancy Crawford, who has taught at LFAS for 19 of those 20 years is co-coordinating the show with fellow instructor Kayla Preston.
Seeing the accomplishments her former students have gone on to achieve, fills the teacher with no small sense of pride.
“It’s so inspiring to see where they’ve gone and what they’re doing,” said Crawford of the opportunity the exhibit has given her to reconnect with many of her former students.
Fifty of the 75-plus LFAS grads whose work is on display in the show indicated that they would return for the exhibit’s opening gala, which was held May 10.
Many of them have gone on to attend prestigious post-secondary art schools around the world and, collectively, the graduates have been offered in excess of $10 million in scholarships to carry on their creative studies.
They can now be found working across the U.S. and Canada, as well as in Europe and Asia.
On Your Mark certainly reflects the diversity promised when two full decades of art students’ work is gathered in one place, said Crawford.
“The show is super eclectic in nature, featuring architectural studies, fashion design, drawings, paintings, sculptural works, animation, photography and jewelry design.”
Among the artists whose work is displayed is Hannah Park, who has designed single-use dishwear made entirely from fallen leaves.
She uses only steam, heat and pressure to mould the modern-style dinner wear which is oven, microwave and refrigerator-safe during use, and 100 per cent biodegradable afterward.
Now 32, Park is among the youngest artists whose work has been featured at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York, said Crawford.
Park, who attended the Parsons school of design in New York City after leaving LFAS, is now coming back to her old high school as an admissions representative for Memphis College of Art and Design.
Another of Crawford’s former students, Dan Lee, graduated in 2006 and went on to study architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).
He is now part of the design team of Moshe Safdie, who created the Vancouver public library as well as a number of other iconic structures all over the world.
The architectural group’s latest project is a spectacular high rise residential development called Bishan, which is being built in Singapore and features a long, narrow swimming pool spanning the tops of the skyscraper’s pair of terraced towers.
Jonah West, a 2004 graduate who now lives in Taiwan, went on to become a concept artist and matte painter whose digital creations help transport movie goers and video game players to whole other worlds, which may or may not really exist — whether it’s a moonlit cityscape of what could easily be a pre-industrial London, or an awe-inspiring landscape of rock and water and trees.
“There are a lot of applications for what he does,” said Crawford.
“There’s something (in the exhibit) in pretty much every artistic field,” the teacher added.
“It’s completely worth the trip (into Vancouver). It’s so inspiring to see what others are doing with their creativity.
“It inspires people to engage with their own creative wellspring.
“We see it already, (the exhibit) is having an impact on people who are visiting the show. It’s fueling their creativity,” Crawford said.
“I don’t even want to guess how many pieces there are and I helped hang the show,” laughed Preston.
“It’s quite eclectic. Anyone interested in any type of art will find something they adore.”
The On Your Mark exhibition is featured at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre in Vancouver until Wednesday, May 22.
The exhibition is free and open to the public seven days a week — Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday, Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed on the holiday Monday, May 20.
The Roundhouse is located at 181 Roundhouse Mews, just off Drake Street and Pacific Avenue.