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A Journey Through the Arts: 2015-2016 Edition

  By Maryanne Mahoney

At Half Hollow Hills High School East, art encompases a major part of students’ everyday lives. Whether it’s walking past the art history intallation, walking through the haunted house, or even just observing the magnificent murals – students are constantly surrounded by art. Those who take art to the next level are responsible for the creation of all of the above mentioned projects and more. Without the help of these students, none of these activities and events could have taken place. We are thrilled to have such an enthusiastic, talented community of students who are passionate about the arts. As a member of this community, it is my pleasure to share with you this journey through a school year’s worth of art.

Halloween Haunted House 

Every year, High School East hosts Safe Halloween to allow little kids an opportunity to safely trick or treat through the hallways and have a lot of fun while doing so. Art Club spends months working on decorations for the haunted house portion of this favorite event. On the day of Safe Halloween, executive board members of NAHS and Art Club spend the entire school day putting it together for the children to enjoy.

Art Club 


Art Club meets every Thursday after school, and the members work on things for various events throughout school. This year, we worked on events, such as Senior Banquet, the haunted house, murals throughout the building, and much more. Art Club is a vital part of the art department, and many events would not be complete if it weren’t for the help of the Art Club and its members.

Annual Art Day30759



Art Day is an annual event that is extremely important for the promotion of the art department. It is a day in January where all of the art classes display their work and actually work in their medium with live presentations. Throughout the day, students and staff stop by art day to admire some of our accomplishments and see the students in action. In addition, the 8th graders from West Hollow Middle School come to the high school. This is our opportunity to encourage them to stay involved in art, and show them how much fun art is in high school!

NAHS Board Visits West Hollow Middle School


The Art History Installation was not only created by high schoolers, but NAHS also went to West Hollow Middle School for a day, and the 8th grade Studio in Art students helped us create the 2016 Pop Culture book, one of the three for the 2016 triptych. The 8th graders were very excited to be part of such an amazing high school event and were more than willing to help the executive board members of NAHS create this book.

AP Art History Installation 


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The Art History Installation was coordinated by Mrs.Uttendorfer, the photography and AP Art History teacher at High School East. She has been in charge of the installations for the past 10 years. This year, we focused on the previous years by creating three unique books for each and hanging them from the ceiling. As the viewer passes by, they can see the 10 year progression on 30 books along the wall. It was truly an amazing installation and would not have been possible without the help of the AP Art History class who spent countless hours creating the books.

Museum Field Trips 

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This year, AP Art History took two field trips to NYC. In November, we went to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and more recently, in April, we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. These two trips were really incredible. Many of the works we studied and are required to know for our AP exam were located in these two museums allowing us to have a first hand look at their beauty and composition.

Annual Paint Night 

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Paint night was a brand new fundraiser sponsored by the National Art Honor Society and held for parents and students of the community. We had two amazing HSE art teachers, Mrs. Uttendorfer and Ms. Nelkin, direct the painters into creating their own individual take on the same painting. The proceeds from this event went to scholarships for students planning on studying art in college in the fall.

Elementary School Students Stop by HSE


This year, fourth graders from Sunquam Elementary School came to High School East for part of the day. Mrs. Uttendorfer, along with this year’s AP Photography class, taught the younger kids how to create a photogram in the dark room. The younger students got to see the dark room first hand, and the AP photo students were able to interact with them and get them excited about continuing art throughout their future in Half Hollow Hills.

NAHS Induction 


To help raise more money for the senior art scholarships, the new inductees of NAHS create a work of art based on that year’s theme. This year our theme was “Oh, the Places You’ll Go,” based on the beloved Dr. Seuss tale. Inductees each chose a city and made an 8×10 piece based on it, all while incorporating a map into their work. These works were then hung up in our gallery, and an auction was held the night of the induction ceremony and continued on until the next day in school!


Photos by Maryanne Mahoney