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Arts Night 2015: A Winter Wonderland of Creativity and Magic

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On Saturday night, the outside of Cohn Campus felt more like Disneyland than the entrance to a school. As an eager crowd pressed in, lightning flashed through 3D clouds, fog billowed at the base of a waterfall, and snowflakes fluttered across rugged mountains, in a dramatic, immersive display of the water cycle.

DSC_0608Students were especially excited by the falling “snow,” as they ran through the flurries and tried to catch the ephemeral flakes. It truly seemed as if a festive “Winter Wonderland” had descended upon ISTP for the evening.

Despite appearances, this incredible scene was not Disneyland, but was actually created by our Arts Night parent volunteers! It served as a thrilling introduction to the creativity inside the building, all inspired by the night’s theme, “The Way of Water.”

This year’s theme lent itself to a diverse array of interpretations, in many different media. From photography, to sculpture, to painting, to video and digital design, each class was inspired in a different way by the beauty and importance of water.

IMG_4370One stunning display featured a room of bioluminescent creatures from the deep sea, which Agnès’ 5th grade class constructed in three dimensions with glowing LED lights. Computer Science teacher Olivier Monteil helped the students program movement into their display, and glowing jellyfish spun and moved through the pitch black room.

An area of the Media Hub featured multimedia collages depicting the different ways African women use water, a topic students had studied in class. Elsewhere, a video of a “water dance” that kindergarteners had choreographed themselves was playing. The range of artistic production was fascinating.

Many parents remarked that this year’s theme seemed to be a special source of inspiration. Nicole Rasco said, “They have done an amazing job interpreting the theme, especially with a lot of the photography featuring reflections in the water – it’s beautiful.”

DSC_0351Gladys Meeker agreed, “There seems to be a lot of creativity in the art this year, a lot of good use of different media, and a lot of creative thoughts about how to incorporate water into the art.”

Patricia Prochaska added, “As always, each piece of art that the kids do is better than the last. The different exposure to the different techniques and mediums, it is breathtakingly beautiful.”

DSC_0663All this art was created thanks to the hard work and ingenuity of our art teachers Haiying Yang and Aïcha Idelcadi, as well as the Cowper teachers, who dreamed up all the inspiring projects that made up the incredible display.

French Program Art Teacher Aïcha Idelcadi says, “Every year, the best part for me is seeing how the kids are very happy with their work, and they are eager to share. A lot of people feel like Arts Night is their favorite event of the school year. It really shows off how special the school is, and I am very proud to be a part of it.”

We would also like to thank all the Arts Night parent volunteers, Food Chair Lisa Surwillo, and our fantastic Arts Night Co-Chairs Carolyn Lott and Jessica Yansouni, who along with our talented students and teachers, together created a magical night.

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