Students Curate Art

Hang 12 program allows students to showcase art in the community

Observing+the+Art+%E2%80%94+Senior+Toby+Weston+explains+a+woodblock+carving+that+Hang12+members+made+for+a+recent+show+to+junior+Mia+Romano+and+sophomore+Olivia+Rothrock.+
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Students Curate Art

Observing the Art — Senior Toby Weston explains a woodblock carving that Hang12 members made for a recent show to junior Mia Romano and sophomore Olivia Rothrock.

Observing the Art — Senior Toby Weston explains a woodblock carving that Hang12 members made for a recent show to junior Mia Romano and sophomore Olivia Rothrock.

Aidan Rothrock

Observing the Art — Senior Toby Weston explains a woodblock carving that Hang12 members made for a recent show to junior Mia Romano and sophomore Olivia Rothrock.

Aidan Rothrock

Aidan Rothrock

Observing the Art — Senior Toby Weston explains a woodblock carving that Hang12 members made for a recent show to junior Mia Romano and sophomore Olivia Rothrock.

By Macy Landes, News Editor

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For students in HANG12, there’s much more to art than painting a picture and showing it to their friends and family — there’s a business side as well.

HANG12 is an art curatorial board composed of students from Lawrence High, Free State and other area high schools who are interested in learning about the curatorial and organizational aspects of the art world.

Their first curated show was for Art Tougeau, Lawrence’s annual Art Car parade. Since then, HANG12 has done 20 shows in 20 months, including one that’s on display now at the Percolator Art Space. The show features wooden panels carved by the members of HANG12 themselves.

“I think the show that we have up now at the Percolator has definitely been our most successful show,” senior Toby Weston said. “This wasn’t one that we took submissions for, we actually carved a bunch of wood panels ourselves, and then we took the panels and we made big prints of them and we sold the prints at the show….We were all pretty happy with the outcome.”

In terms of the types of art curated, the possibilities are endless. Each show has a different theme with artwork to match.

“It [types of art] has varied a lot depending on the show,” Weston said. “We’ve done shows that are pretty open….We’ve done a show where we gave everyone the same kind of piece of wood or canvas and said, ‘You can do whatever you want with this.’ We’ve had shows where we took 3D submissions, we did a 3D show at SeedCo last year, and we’ve also had shows where we contact groups of people to collaborate on a piece for us, so it totally depends.”

 

Getting involved — Members of Hang12 pose for a group picture in front of their carving during their art show at The Percolator on Oct. 28. Members spent the month working together on the carving.

Aidan Rothrock
Getting involved — Members of Hang12 pose for a group picture in front of their carving during their art show at The Percolator on Oct. 28. Members spent the month working together on the carving.

Neal Barbour, director of youth education at the Arts Center who helps to facilitate the group, stresses the importance of a creative outlet and professional atmosphere like HANG12 being available to high schoolers.

“This program offers a glimpse into the real arts world, where deadlines loom large, your artwork must be impeccably crafted and displayed, and the marketing, documentation, and business side are so important to your success,” he said.

For many participants, HANG12 is not only a creative outlet but an organization that provides unique opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have thought to pursue.

“I had my own show at the Lawrence Arts Center,” senior Margot Lockwood said. “And I know that I definitely would have never even thought to do that or have had it be as successful as it was if I wasn’t a part of HANG12.”

For others, it serves as a foundation for the career path they want to follow later in life.
“I’m thinking about going into fibers or textiles in the future so sewing, fashion design, that kind of thing,” Weston said. “So I think the major thing for me has been just getting more comfortable in the arts community and being able to talk to people and make connections and stuff, and that’s been really helpful.”

Those who have attended the gallery showings can immediately see evidence of the passion and hard work going into the execution of the final product.

creating — Seniors Allie Fischer and Toby Weston screenprint T-shirts at the Percolator as part of their show.

Aidan Rothrock
creating — Seniors Allie Fischer and Toby Weston screenprint T-shirts at the Percolator as part of their show.

Collaboration and problem solving skills play a large part in the process of putting on a show.
“Ultimately, they make their own decisions and take their own risks,” Barbour said. “Sometimes those risks pay off and other times not. It is all an amazing experiment that we are in together. They have had many a late night arguing over what is best decision for the strength of a show. Many problems arise, and they have to solve those distinct problems.”

The effort and passion that’s put into each show is evident to regular attendees like sophomore Olivia Rothrock.

“I thought it was really cool,” she said. “A lot of the work was put on by the people in it, and it was a good community….It’s a good group of people. And I think they want to support each other but they also want to support the sense of letting younger people get involved in art.”

HANG12 members encourage any and everyone to attend their Final Friday shows. Submissions for future events are welcome as well.

“We want everyone to come to HANG12 shows, young or old, but it is very important for the youth of our community to not only feel that their voices are heard, but to have a safe and supportive venue to talk about art and ideas,” Barbour said. “We encourage all high schoolers to come to the shows, challenge yourself, [and to] become engaged.”

Number of Hang12 participants

14

Number of art shows had since establishment

20

Establishment of Hang12

April 2015

Meetings every month

2

Hang12 members get paid

$9/hr