Senior Art Show 2020

This year marks the 47th annual West Allegheny High School Art Show. Over the years, the art show has moved locations because of its’ tremendous growth and mostly due to the incorporation of the senior installations. Every year in the recent past, the show celebrates the art students’ work, filling the entire high school gym and displaying over 1,000 pieces of art from all high school art levels. But a special highlight of the show each year is the senior installations: a thematic body of work each student  has spent months of time creating, in and outside of the classroom. These are entire rooms they have built to provide an all-encompassing art environment that transports you out of the gym and into their world of art.

The 2020 Art 4 seniors worked long and hard on this body of work, so regardless of the COVID-19 closure, we decided the show must go on! While saddened to miss the opportunity to build their physical installations, these seniors showed great dedication and flexibility in creating these virtual art installations instead. Their artworks convey their most dedicated passions, strongest memories, and individual points of view. Please enjoy the 2020 Art Show Virtual Senior Installations and help in celebrating our talented class of 2020. 

2020 Art Judge Bio: Alaina White

Alaina will receive her Bachelor of Arts in Art Therapy Preparation with minors in Counseling and Psychology in December 2020 from Carlow University. She plans to pursue a Masters in Art Therapy beginning in January 2021. She is a 2017 West Allegheny alumni and is from Imperial, PA. Artistically, her main focus is in oil painting, but her experience ranges from painting to wood-burning to ceramics, and she loves to experiment with mixed media projects. Many of her recent portfolio pieces were inspired by her personal experiences traveling and her love for her family. The series she is currently working on is influenced by the photos she has taken while traveling abroad. Her love of travel sparked from the West Allegheny Art Program’s 2015 and 2017 summer EF tours in Europe. Since then, she has studied abroad in Sligo, Ireland where she worked alongside individuals with special needs. Alaina’s artwork can be found at: https://www.artstation.com/alainawhite

To View Installations

Please click the Installation Links below to view the senior artwork. Use the navigation buttons (arrows) to explore different rooms. Be sure to click all the way through the show to see each piece up close! Find out more about each artist on the “Curator” and “Resources” pages. Enjoy!

NOTE: Please know that during the traditional annual art show, installations with sensitive or mature content are marked with a “Viewer Discretion Advised” sign. We have flagged these below.

Kira Powell

Installation Link:  Discrepancies of Light
Artist Statement 
The theme of my installation is centered around this concept of light and dark. What may help you understand it is the following quote: “Too much light can blind you; you need darkness for balance”. Light and dark are more of a complement to one another, rather than an opposite. Light allows for a sense of hope, optimism, and knowledge that encourages us to dream and enjoy the beauty of life. Darkness allows for a sense of mystery, sorrow, and fear that pushes us to face the true and often tormenting realities of life. The truth is that we need both in order to create balance. Without either of them, we are stuck in a world beyond reality. One void of human existence. The fundamental bond between these two simple ideas represents the structure of our lives - the good, the bad, and the ugly. Every experience we go through, regardless of the emotions it provokes, continues to shape our personality and moral standings

Olivia Rohal

Installation Link:  Life of an Olive
Artist Statement 
Going into this year I didn't really have a plan for my installation. I couldn't think of a theme, all my art pieces were just random things I liked or things that I thought looked cool, but nothing that really went along with a theme at first glance. As I looked closer at my pieces I was creating or was planning to create through the year, a lot of them didn't look similar except when you looked closer, there was a theme of reflection and texture. A lot of the piece I created were shiny, smooth, rough, or had reflection in them. I think I was drawn to detail when thinking about what to create next. I loved sitting down for hours and just working on the detail in my work. I was so worried going into the year to have a deeper meaning theme for my art work and installation but I am happy that my pieces are things that I like and wanted to share with others. 

Tawni Wilkinson

Installation Link:  Home 

Artist Statement 
Throughout my high school art career, the one thing I struggled with the most was portraits of people. So this year I decided to explore that field of art and allow myself to grow as an artist. Each portrait I chose to paint has a certain meaning to me, as my theme for this installation is home. Each person or thing represented in the installation has impacted me in some way or another. These people have shaped me into the person I am today and many of them have been there for me through thick and thin. Whether it is a close friend, family, or musical artist each person has played a major part in my life and make me feel at home no matter where I am. The portraits of these people as well as the other pieces included here are all part of what “home” is to me. This journey was a challenge but what’s life without a little challenge?

Mia Bizzarri

Installation Link:  Fashion Design

Artist Statement
I picked the theme of fashion design for my installation because it's what I'm going to school for. Also I wanted to show everyone how serious this is for me becoming a fashion designer. My work always shows the message that everyone isn’t perfect because my artwork isn't the neatest. It's messy and child like and I'm okay with that. I also don't like drawing faces or skin tone because I don't want to prejudge who will be wearing my clothes that I will design in the future.

Emily Brown

Installation Link:  Rap Culture
Viewer Discretion is Advised 
Artist Statement 
Rap music and art have always had the biggest impact on my life. Since I have been little I loved the idea of art having so many forms such as music, digital, and physical art. Being an artist and loving art and music I wanted to combine the two together with the meaning of the rap culture being my big idea. My art pieces show off the different styles and how the culture of today's rap is shown in many different ways such as clothes, shoes, and all around lifestyles. 

Mara Campbell

Installation Link:  Fantasy Unbound
Artist Statement 
The title I chose for my installation is Fantasy Unbound. The reason behind my theme is from my love of older cartoons and story book characters. I also love fantasy like most, but I love every form of it, dragons, mermaids, myths and legends. They were always the type of things that stood out to me, and that I loved to create. The last thing that made my installation come to life for me was the endless possibilities, I could go so far outside the box with this theme. It made me feel my best, most creative, and motivated to work.

Sydney Davies

Installation Link:  Mother Nature: with a twist
Artist Statement
All my life I have always enjoyed art and nature. So for my installation I decided to put the two together! Room number one is one of my favorite pieces I did my junior year. I hope you enjoy a look through a mixture of my two favorite things!

Maddy Dean

Installation Link: Lake Life

Artist Statement:
I picked the lake theme for my installation because I have been traveling to Erie, PA ever since I was a little girl. This theme is important to me because I’ve spent so much of my life looking at Lake Erie and its’ beauty, and I wanted to express my love for the water in my artwork. The scenery of Presque Isle and the lake has taught me to appreciate the wonders of nature. To convey this lake theme, I created images from pictures I’ve taken in Erie, as well as animals and scenery that would be found in a lake setting. I hope that through my artwork, viewers will feel an appreciation for Lake Erie and its’ beauty as much as I do.

Haley Denes

Installation Link:  Creatures of Habit

Artist Statement 
Humans are creatures of habit; our mindsets get built from our surroundings-- the words we hear, the sights we see, and the feelings we experience. Our minds are very powerful, which makes it easy to get caught up in our own opinions and problems that form our outlook on life. It’s why we say “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks;” humans can get stuck in their own ways, slowly but surely becoming more close-minded. That’s why it’s important to open our minds beyond what we are used to-- beyond our comfort zone-- whether it is new opinions, new ideas, or new outlooks from other individuals to potentially gain a new perspective. Our mind can be a prison if we get stuck with our own thoughts for too long. We often judge other people before giving ourselves the chance to get to know them, and before they get the chance to explain themselves. We get focused on stuff that shouldn’t matter when we all live on the same planet and that should be our main concern.
When you ask someone for their opinion about something you are excited about and they tear it down, how do you feel? Has anyone told you an idea that they were excited about and you tore them down? I’m guessing your answer is yes because we all make mistakes, but what if we just heard each other out a little longer? If we all could try to understand each other and shift our focal point to the “little things” in life, I think the world has the potential to be a better place. The point of my installation is to try and open people's eyes, hearts, minds, and souls to give more chances to happiness as a whole human population.  

Elise Fitsioris

Installation Link:  Zodiac Signs & Astrology
Artist Statement 
 The inspiration for my installation comes from astrology and the 12 zodiac signs. Every person has a zodiac sign based on their birthday, and it is representative of some of your traits and qualities. I decided to use realism in a lot of my pieces to display some of the symbols that represent the signs. I also decided to incorporate the 4 elements because each zodiac is linked to one of them, and I also used birthstones to represent the months. I think this aspect makes it interactive for my audience because each person has a birthday and has a zodiac sign that represents them.

Aubrey Hanna

Installation Link:  Me  

Artist Statement
All of my life I have struggled with severe OCD and anxiety. My art helps me to relax and let go of everything going on in my head. I chose to represent myself in my installation to show to people that just because you are struggling with something doesn’t mean you can’t accomplish what you want. The way I represented myself into my installation is by my photography/pictures of some of my family since they have helped me overcome a lot in my life. Also in quotes that represent different aspects of my life and portray things that are meaningful to me. 

Taylor Johnson

Installation Link:  Underwater 

Artist Statement 
My installation theme is saving the ocean. The ocean is important to me because it plays a big role in our lives. The ocean provides over half of the world’s oxygen, the air we breathe.  If the ocean were to disappear, we would live in a desert wasteland. Every time we throw trash in the ocean, we do not think about the consequences. All the plastic and garbage we consume breaks down into trillions of deadly particles. These particles cause pollution in the ocean, killing our sea life and even killing us. The ocean has been around since the beginning of time, so we need to respect and take care of the ocean by cleaning and picking up garbage that is laying on the ground. Once the ocean disappears, it will never come back.

Terrance Lucas

Installation Link: Gravity’s Rainbow

Artist Statement 
My entire life I’ve been told that I am soft spoken, people sometimes find it hard to understand me or hear what I am saying. However, with art I can be as loud as I want to. Art is my megaphone, broadcasting my message to whoever is willing to listen, displaying my colors to whoever is willing to look.  The majority of my pieces are makeup, it is my passion and soon to be my career. I wanted to showcase the power of makeup and the power of transformation. 

Abby Macher

Installation Link:  Beauty & Horror 
Viewer Discretion is Advised

Artist Statement
The contrast of beauty and horror has always interested me. The idea of seeing the beauty in darkness and the darkness in beauty is one that occupies my mind quite a bit. Because these two elements are so different, I have become more passionate about combining them into one odd creation. Much like Victor Frankenstein, my creations are quite strange although I find more joy with my art, rather than fear and disgust. I find the strange aspects of life to be the most interesting and even beautiful. 

Kayley Messner

Installation Link:  A Virtual Walk Through Nature
Artist Statement 
My art is heavily focused on nature. I have always felt connected to nature, more so now that I am older. Nature is slowly dying due to many reasons around the world and change is desperately needed in order to keep the planet beautiful. I like to help out the environment in many ways. I often use reusable water bottles, straws, bags, donate old clothes, and thrift clothes. I give back to nature by gardening, creating bee paths, etc. I show that beauty in my artwork and hope that others will see the awareness I am trying to spread in order to save the planet. The world is a beautiful place, but it won’t stay like that if action isn’t taken. I hope that others see that message and try to learn from it. 

Makayla Milkovich

Installation Link:  Japanese Culture

Artist Statement
During my freshman year, I started to become interested in Japanese Culture. I always found it beautiful, relaxing, and powerful. There are so many hidden meanings. Whether it’s a certain color telling a story, or some artifact. Japanese culture over time absorbed influences from China. Over the years, Western culture has influenced all aspects of Japanese culture including art, lifestyle and food. Through Japanese art, architecture, and cuisine I have become very fond of their culture.

Mia Palmer

Installation Link:  Star Wars 

Artist Statement
Star Wars has been an all-time favorite movie in my family. The whole entire Star Wars franchise has also stolen the hearts of many and has become a huge ordeal. I’ve always loved Star Wars and the characters, plot, and settings have caught my eye countless times. I decided that I wanted to make my installation on Star Wars due to the impact it has had on countless generations and its’ variety within its’ story.

Anna Parker

Installation Link:  Humanities’ Delicacies

Artist Statement 
Hi! Welcome to my virtual installation! My name is Anna Parker and I am in AP Art and Art 4. Throughout my years of art education, I have always found the beauty within everyday people. Yes, we do all have the same features and basic structural makeup, however we are all so different yet beautiful. The fact that there are no two people alike is just so amazing, providing endless beauty in a variety of shapes and sizes. Naturally, I have decided to focus not only my AP portfolio, but also my installation upon such a topic. My favorite artist, Vincent Van Gogh, once said, “ I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.” This quote speaks volumes, and through my art, I wanted to encompass its meaning as much as possible, so I hope you enjoy! 

Alex Prevade

Installation Link:  The Beautiful & The Damned
Artist Statement 
Art is how I deal with my emotions.“The Beautiful and The Damned” represents how people have different perspectives on how they look at the world and how the world can convey many emotions whether they be positive or negative. 

Brooke Reed

Installation Link:  Through My Eyes
Artist Statement
I present to you art projects I have worked on during my time at West Allegheny High School. Each one represents how I interpreted things through my eyes and how they made me feel. Each piece has a unique meaning that I captured through many art techniques. I used acrylic paint, chalk pastels, and oil pastels to express each piece I created. I would like you to view things through my eyes by checking out my creations. Ansel Adams. “You don't take a photograph, you make it.” 

Maddie Santiago

Installation Link:  Life In Death
Viewer Discretion is Advised

Artist Statement
I decided my installation would be based off of the theme Life in Death. I was largely inspired from my love of both music and the anatomy of bones. I think they're neat. I was also inspired by similar works by other artists, who conveyed an unusual sense of joy and jubilation after death.  With this installation, I had hoped to express this love through art, and perhaps even get others thinking about what they cherish in life and what they might even cherish in death as well. Through this, I'd hope to convey the belief that death isn't the end of the road, however daunting as it may seem. 

Jenna Scisciani

Installation Link:  The Uncaged World of Animals 

Artist Statement
For as long as I can remember there has always been an animal in my life in some way. Whether it be with lizards, guinea pigs, or just dogs and cats. I’ve always have been an animal lover and I wanted to exhibit that through my love of art. The amount of pieces is only a very small number of extraordinary animals that inhabit this world and I hope there’s at least one group that shows your favorite type of animal. 

Jamie Sheppard

Installation Link:  Trinidad & Tobago 
Artist Statement 
I was born in Trinidad and Tobago and lived there until around the age of 9. My installation is a symbol of pride that I have for my culture and family. My roots were established there, so I will never forget them! Through several mediums including printmaking, acrylic paint, graphite, watercolor, and sculpture, I attempted to create a representation of my native country. There are many aspects I did not have the time to incorporate, so I also decided to include some pictures (some of which I took and some from the internet) that help to illustrate the beauty of these two islands. I love diversity and learning about other people and cultures, so this installation can also help give you an idea of where I am from and who I am.

Sami Stein

Artist Statement 
For the last 4 years I’ve been through so many of these installations and still had no idea what I wanted mine to be when my time came. I had so many different ideas that made me happy and that’s when I realized, I could use just that. Happiness. I wasn’t sure how I’d do this because I couldn’t portray everyone’s happiness in this one tiny slideshow, that originally should have been a room in the gym. I decided I’d instead show what makes me happy. I wanted to portray that even in little things like your friends and family, pets, music, or exploring new places, you can always find something that truly makes you happy. Thank you for taking the time to read this, I hope my art makes you think of times you were as happy as I was when I was creating these pieces. 

Isabella Taddy

Installation Link:  Endangered
Artist Statement 
Endangered; a species seriously at risk of extinction. Animals have always fascinated me, and I have always really enjoyed creating art pieces about them, which was the perfect opportunity to spread awareness about these amazing animals through my art installation. No matter the reason, there is no denying that the endangered species list continues to grow and be added to each and every day. The purpose of my art installation is to spread awareness on what WE can do to help these animals, and open up our eyes to see a different perspective to promote change for the better. 

Taylor Upperman

Installation Link:  Wildlife & Nature
Artist Statement 
My creative artwork includes a combination of animation and realism. My installation is all about wildlife and nature. From scratchboards to graphite artwork, there is a variety of wildlife you’ll experience. I chose to do my installation on wildlife and nature simply because to me, it is a way of expressing calmness. I have always loved animals as well as nature. Being able to express calmness through art of wildlife has been quite the ride. I believe that art is also a very useful coping method for most people. I want to share my art with you today because I would like for you to see nature from my perspective. I hope that my perspective on wildlife and nature art will be an impact to future generations. The evolution of art has greatly inspired me to never give up and try to stay positive no matter what. My artwork more so focuses on realism rather than animation. To me, realism means avoiding exotic and supernatural elements in life. Through showing realism in my artwork, I’m able to share a new experience from my perspective and show how realism has taught me to stay positive. I hope you also will take my experience and perspective into consideration and free negativity from your world. 

Maria Vidmar

Installation Link:  Cartoon Life
Artist Statement
Hey!  Welcome to my art installation! I’m an Art 4 and AP Art student. I wanted to make art that reminded me of something that was not just a part of me but so many others. Cartoons. I don't think I’ve met anyone who hasn't seen any cartoon, as a kid this is all I watched and absolutely loved them. I wanted to also make this installation for the value behind each piece. When you are to look at my art and remember watching that certain show or movie, I wanted it to bring you back to a peaceful and happy time of your life hopefully and to show you there is fun in all of us! I hope you enjoy! 

Jae Volk

Installation Link:  The Queer Life
Viewer Discretion is Advised

Artist Statement
Advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community is one of my greatest passions. These artworks are based on my personal experience of being queer, alongside the experiences for the LGBTQ+ community in general. Oil pastel and colored pencil are two of my most favorite mediums. Art is such a powerful form of expression and I not only make physical pieces, but write poetry as a hobby. I’ve read my poetry aloud, been on radio shows, and have been published a few times. With all my art, I want to make an impact on the world and express not only myself, but speak for those without the ability to do so. 

Sabinah Wilson

The Installation Link:  Butterfly Effect
Artist Statement 

but=ter=fly  ef=fect
(with reference to chaos theory) the phenomenon whereby a minute localized change in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere.

This means that the choices we make and the actions that we take in this moment have a ripple, or domino effect on the rest of our lives as well as others’. It alters the path that you follow. 

All of my life I had always wondered why things happen the way they do. Through personal realization, I allowed myself to reflect on the past, rather than dwell on it; it had taught me that every moment played a role in my life and in shaping me into the person I am today. Without all of these moments in question, it would be a completely different puzzle, as the pieces would never fit right to form who I am.

I've allowed myself to use this perspective in many aspects of life. I believe that we should each take into consideration how one tiny little action can change someone's day, attitude, and their own outlook on life. At the end of the day, I want to look back and know that I had made the decisions for a brighter tomorrow. So, I hope that in light of my realization, you will think about this yourself, and consider your impact on the world. And then ask yourself: is it what you'd hoped for?

Allison Wojtaszek

Installation Link:  Looking for Space

Artist Statement 
Outer Space is the physical universe beyond Earth's atmosphere. It intrigues me because no one really knows what is out there beyond what has been minimally discovered. It seems endless, and the artwork depicted within my installation has aspects of what could be and what we know. Also intriguing, is that you don't have to travel to space to see it. You can look out from a forests view or from the backyard of your house and see the things you might only think you can see from physically traveling there. Space is a wide concept and can be categorized as many things, but I see it as beautiful, incredible, and unseen.

Logan Yetsick

Installation Link:  All About Me 

Artist Statement
My installation is supposed to be about me, about my room and what adorns it. In my eyes I think you can learn a lot about a person from their room. A person's room is their safe place, where they can be whoever they want without feeling judged. So as you go through my installation you will be taking a look at my room and who I am.