Art Impact Awards Assembly and Reception

//PICTURED ABOVE: Sari Wyssbrod is rewarded for her short film, “Bangover.” The film will remain in Hockaday’s permanent collection.


The Annual Art Impact Awards Assembly on April 29 honored Hockaday Visual Arts juniors and seniors and announced winners of the Hockaday Collection Award.

The assembly began with the Head of Visual Arts Susan Sanders calling out each junior’s name from each department: Ceramics, 2-D Studio, Film, and Photography. Each respective teacher handed out pins associated with their fine art to the juniors.

Following the juniors, Sanders called each senior up individually, with a picture of their work and themselves shown on the screen. Prior to the assembly, each senior had written an artist statement describing what their artwork meant to them and what they wanted to express to others through their pieces. Sanders read each artist statement as the senior walked to the front and was handed a gift by their fine arts teacher.

Then, Sanders announced one piece from each fine art bought by the Hockaday Collection Award. Through this award, Hockaday collects student work and exhibits the work on a permanent basis throughout the school. Winners will receive a monetary value for their work.

In both ceramics and 2-D Studio, Senior Hallet Thalheimer’s pieces were bought for the Hockaday Collection Award.

Senior Sari Wyssbrod’s short film, “Bangover,” about female metal rockers, was selected for the permanent collection in film. Wyssbrod, who has been a fan of heavy metal music for years, frequently attends and films concerts.

“I wanted to create a film about the metal music scene so that I could share what I love with a larger audience,” Wyssbrod said. “I also wanted to tear down some stereotypes about metal music. Metal is not just dark, scary, and serious. It’s fun.”

Wyssbrod is glad that people will learn about a subculture that they never knew about, and is pleased that the message of her film will live on in the school.

In the case of photography, Senior Carolina Stewart’s piece, “Kiss the Sky,” was bought for the award. She had been working on photos of stars and had been exploring potential places to take pictures.

Together with some friends, they brainstormed different shots and locations. She had been envisioning a picture of the graffiti and sky, but the thought process and creation of the piece needed more people, not just her.

“Honestly, I was just trying to express how magical and fun that night was to me,” Sari said. “My friends were out late at night helping me do something I love, and they were having so much fun too, creating their own setups and ideas as well. Just seeing this photo brings me back to all the laughs that night and spending time with them.”

Sari’s hope is that her photography can inspire young photographers.

“I really feel honored that my piece will enter Hockaday’s permanent collection,” Sari said. I remember seeing some pieces on the walls and knowing I wanted to be able to photograph like that someday.”

“I think that the idea of collecting the work is mirroring the student body with what we honor,” Sanders said. “We don’t just support our students and treat this as a prep school, but by making this collection, we are standing up and saying we honor you for the things that you’re doing and we believe that your work is important.”

After the assembly, visitors attended the Upper School Art Reception and viewed the exhibitions of all visual arts students.

“We’re a process-oriented program, versus a product-oriented program,” Sanders said. “It makes Hockaday so much more diverse; we get to see all kinds of things.”


Story and photo by Hanna Zhang

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