The bubble wrap dress hanging on the wall of the exhibition hall uses the protective plastic packaging as a crinoline substitute in a pink, prom-style dress that features a bodice of recycled aluminum packaging knit together into metallic flower-like shapes.
Photos of other stylish dresses made from equally improbable materials have been arranged next to it on the wall of the Mary Pratt Gallery at the Langley Fine Arts school in Fort Langley.
The series by Nicole Melnicky, a student in the Advanced Placement Studio Art 12 class is called “packaging for people” and it’s her comment on wasteful packaging practices.
“They use plastic to package the smallest things,” Melnicky observes.
Her talent has won the Grade 12 visual arts student a $78,000 scholarship to attend the Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia, where she will study painting, drawing, print making and sculpture en route to becoming an art teacher.
She is one of several students in her class who have won scholarships to top-ranked institutions this year.
Silhee Jin is going to Parson’s Paris in France with over $80,000 in scholarship funds.
The Pratt is exhibiting a sequence of hand-drawn images from a wordless animated film Jin made about the pressure some children are under to perform, get good grades and be successful.
“They learn that money is really important, not happiness,” she says.
She plans to study fashion design.
John Kim turned down a $90,000 scholarship offer from a college in Savannah to attend the cutting-edge Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida where he plans to study 3D animation.
The gallery is showing Kim’s series of seven images of a Lego city that begins as a single brick and an outline and becomes more elaborate with each successive image before it fades away back to a bare outline again.
“Down to just the memories,” Kim says.
It’s his way of saying goodbye to his high school life.
Kyuri Lee was inspired by her volunteer work in a soup kitchen to produce a series of works that include graceful and delicate lamps, lit with soft lights, like souls.
“I think everyone has light and colors inside them,” she says.
Lee won a full tuition scholarship to Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver.
Classmate Crystal Shin will also be going to Emily Carr.
“I love Granville Island,” Shin says, standing next to a display of her eerily realistic-looking cupcakes made from plaster and paint.
Ting Wen Hsiao has constructed a number of small, elegant sculptural shapes for the gallery’s grad show.
The businesslike young woman is the only one in her class who works with a Home Depot tool belt on her hip — the better, she explains, to reach the necessary tools quicker.
She won a $60,000 scholarship to the Pratt Institute of Art and Design in New York where she plans to study industrial design, bringing the functional and artistic together.
“Make life, art,” is how she sums it up.
This year, students in the Advanced Placement Studio Art 12 program were offered more than $1.1 million in scholarships from various institutions.
Visual arts teacher Nancy Crawford calls it a “dream realized” for students who arrived unsure if they could make their hopes of an artistic career come true.
“They have dreams, they have passions, but they don’t know how to make it happen,” Crawford says.
It is the second time in five years that the $1 million scholarship mark has been topped.
Dan FERGUSON/Langley Times
Langley Fine Arts teacher Nancy Crawford, front right, and Grade 12 Visual Arts students. This year, the grads were offered more than $1.1 million in scholarships from prestigious art schools around the world. Video online at www.langleytimes.com.