The week of Nov. 7, Joseph Luongo’s two Studio 2 honors classes exhibited some of their projects outside of the cafeterias.
The projects were portraits of political figures, either serious pencil drawings or comical caricatures.
The portraits were displayed just in time for the Malden High School’s parent-teacher night on Nov. 7, and the presidential election on Nov. 8.
As for the project itself, Luongo hopes that it “exposes the students to different political figures”, and that the exhibition of the portraits “plant[s] a little seed of curiosity” in students who didn’t partake in the project. Mostly sophomores participated in the project, but there were some juniors and seniors, too.
Luongo hopes people who view the portraits “appreciate how good a job [the students] did” and understand “how difficult it is to draw someone’s likeness.” Luongo says that drawing portraits takes a lot of patience and focus to make the portrait work “structurally.”
Luongo gives this project to his students every other year, both during midterm elections, and the presidential elections, too.
Sophomore Novia Li exhibited a portrait of Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s running mate during the election. Li especially likes to “draw [...] faces of people” and “human features,” so this project was enjoyable for her. As for the portraits as a whole, Li notes that “most of them were pretty well drawn,” and that’s why so many were displayed.
Another sophomore, Delilah Doleman did two portraits of former president Richard Nixon, both a serious pencil drawing, and a caricature, which was the portrait exhibited. Doleman likes “that [they] had [the] freedom to interpret the person [they] chose.” In her caricature, Doleman made “Nixon look really angry because that’s what his personality had a lot of.” Doleman hopes that since her artwork was displayed, it will make people more interested in politics, and is glad that people got to see her work.
The artist of the Elizabeth Warren portraits, sophomore Michelle Nie, chose Warren to draw because “she carries herself with great confidence and is not afraid to voice out her opinions.” Like most students, Nie completed two portraits, a serious pencil portrait and a caricature. Nie thinks that this project was one of the “best works [she has] done.” Nie notes how she preferred the formal portrait over the caricature, because the formal one was “easier to draw and shade, since [she had] a formal photograph of [the politician]”. While completing the caricature, Nie said, “[she] needed to push [her] creativity a little further and create [a] whole new image withseveral references.” Nie is honored to have her work displayed, and has gotten several “amazing comments”on her artwork, especially on her formal portrait.
Overall, by displaying these portraits of politicians, both Luongo and the artists, hope people view them with respect, and become interested in politics.