Your High School years are a significant time that build unforgettable memories – both good, and bad. After High School, life does go on to greater lengths, (we promise!) but those formative years are going to resonate within you for a while, whether you like it or not. What better way to express those memories and lessons learned than through art?
The American International School of Kuwait’s (AIS) High School Art room is a very special place. It housed many different generations of artists over the past decades – and this year, the Class of 2017 showcased the near-end of their secondary educational journeys on a high note by commemorating all the magic that had happened in the vast classroom that will always smell of tangy turpentine and cool clay.
Last March, The Visual Arts Diploma Program students at AIS celebrated one and half years of art creation and study through an exhibition entitled “DAR AL ASRAR” (The House of Secrets). With impressive works done by senior students Tala Adlouni, Athbah Al Muzaiel, Al Zainah Al Wahaib, Yasmine Rizk and Dana Salame, DAR AL ASRAR featured over 50 exciting, conceptual, thought-provoking artworks, including drawings, paintings, sculptures, digital media, mixed media, photography, film and installations. The exhibition opening was a huge success with, students, staff, family, friends and VIP guests attending to praise and admire the high quality of artwork.
Most of the exhibiting students have been engaged in some form of art over the past four years, leading into the Diploma program. Taught by Visual Arts Diploma teacher, Angie Hani, the students involved in this year’s exhibition produced outstanding works of art, and have been intrigued and inspired by personal, social, cultural and political issues. They expressed their interpretations through a variety of visual media formats. With all that and more to inspire them, audience members and their teacher, were blown away by the result.
Mrs. Hani has been teaching this program for more than nine years, and only grows more impressed each year with the deep conceptual thinking and detailed process her students engage in: “It is often believed that the study of art is just about the creation of art, however it also involves the understanding and appreciation of past and present art forms and art concepts. Continuing the conversation through visual arts and instilling my students with the power to stimulate the thoughts of their audience with art, is greatly encouraged in my art classes.”
And as two talented members of the bazaar team are AIS alumni, it doesn’t come as a surprise to us that even 10 years later, the school’s support of expressive arts still stands strong, and has only intensified since then. AIS’ International Baccalaureate Diploma Program in the Visual Arts is said to be a challenging program that delves deep into the investigation and study of conventional and contemporary art, and DAR AL ASRAR proves that all that is learned in the program is not only utilized, but is also appreciated. Mrs. Hani’s students not only create works of art, they also formulate in-depth comparative analysis of other artist’s works and their process in comparison to their own art making, and to be able to translate the inspirations and reflections of their artistic education.
“The Visual Art’s IBO Diploma Program at AIS encourages, and promotes students to be critical, creative, conceptual thinkers.” Mrs. Hani says of her students. “Graduates of the program are fully prepared for further study, armed with the skills and knowledge to serve them throughout their art careers and other careers they choose to pursue. They are always above and beyond other members of their academic study due to the intense practice and structured organization of their DP Art class. They continue to further their education and experiences successfully in the most highly prominent universities around the world, only to return after university graduation to say ‘Mrs. Hani, if it wasn’t for art class…’” And judging by the gorgeous works of DAR AL ASRAR, we think we know how that sentence ends.
Check out more details of the students’ journey by visiting their Instagram page @daralasrar. AIS is located in Maidan Hawalli. Visit www.ais-kuwait.org, or contact them at 1843 247 for more information. Photos taken by Lindsey Layman.