North Brooklyn’s budding architects and designers had their talents on display at the Park Avenue Armory Monday night to celebrate the Partnership School Evening of the Arts.
The Williamsburg High School of Architecture and Design (WHSAD) was one of four participating schools taking part in the annual residency program run at the armory, with the Evening of the Arts event the culmination of their efforts.
“The students’ thoughtful and intelligent responses to this challenging series of artwork have inspired the entire Armory staff,” said Rebecca Robertson, the President and Executive Editor at the Armory. “We continue to be impressed with the caliber of work that comes out of the classrooms at each of the partner schools.”
For the students at WHSAD – it is the 7th year running that they have put up a show at the Armory. A large part of this year’s involved interpretations and responses to Shakespeare’s Macbeth.
WHSAD students in particular interpreted the play in the form of design and construction – some contributed directly to the creation of the set and props used by students to perform short modern re-imaginations of the play at Monday’s event.
Others still responded to it an abstract form. A group of students created models of buildings based on dialogue from the play – when looked from afar they looked like cardboard skyscrapers – but an up close and top down view revealed that the tops of the buildings were in fact designed in a way that they read as quotes from the play.
“I’m so thrilled for the students and I think that this has been their best year yet,” said Gill Cornell, the principal at WHSAD. “It’s a fusion between the academic and the artistic, and that’s what all our studies should really be about.”
A group of WHSAD seniors had been asked to interpret something personal and meaningful to them in the form of design – working on AUTOCAD to create three-dimensional models of the same.
Deron McAlmont, 17, had created a re-imagining of the Brooklyn Bridge based on a pendant he wears around his neck – “Ankh,” the Egyptian symbol for eternal life.
“For me it was not just about creating something abstract, but a project like this allowed me the most amount of freedom to create what I wanted and to work with whatever materials I wanted,” said McAlmont who will start his Major in Architecture at the University of Buffalo in the fall.
Over the years, the Park Avenue Armory has served as home to unconventional performing and visual arts. The Armory has placed a strong emphasis on education and their programs with the city’s public schools are a reflection of the organization’s efforts to expose students to different forms of learning.