Art teams up with technology in a springtime showcase that offers a virtual reality “walk” through a gallery of student work, plus an invitation for students to hang actual art in the windows of their Rutherford homes.
Together, those initiatives will form “Weekend of the Arts,” a clever re-imagination of the typical art shows that close out the school year.
“The online gallery will rely on technology similar to the Street View feature of the Google Maps app, so computer users can get the sense of walking through an art gallery,” said Veronica Grillo. She and Stephanie Castellano, both teachers of Fine Arts at Rutherford High School, took the lead on that part of the project. “People can also use virtual reality googles to get an in-depth feel of this gallery experience.”
The show will include the selected works of artists from the High School and from Union School’s 8th grade, ranging from photography and drawings to paintings and ceramics. In all, the Virtual Art Walk will display 400 pieces of student work.
Middle school and high school teachers collaborated to compile work from a variety of students. Grillo and Castellano spent countless hours designing the gallery and organizing, labelling, and placing the artwork.
Meanwhile, artists in kindergarten through grade eight are urged to hang their own works from this school year in their home windows. That half of the Weekend of the Arts is dubbed “Rutherford From My Window,” with a call for artwork to be displayed that Friday morning. Community members are encouraged not just to walk or drive by, but to honk, wave, or make some noise to show their appreciation.
“This combination of a virtual gallery and real-life displays will let us share the joy of art throughout the entire Rutherford community,” Castellano said. “Whether they’re clicking through images or walking through town, residents will be able to effortlessly get a boost from these student works.”