For the Love of Comics: SBS Art Students Tour Houston Gallery
Branded by a large “YIIIIIIEE,” the back wall screamed with ebullience. In contrast, the rest of the gallery boasted eerie pictures of clenched fists, silhouettes, and ravenous birds. Together, these images personified an otherwise inanimate space. Like a graphic novel, the Lawndale Exhibition gallery possessed the capacity to transport unsuspecting viewers into a story of “Love and Madness.”
I’ve always admired graphic artwork. From comic books to printmaking, sequential art serves as an innovative mode of visual storytelling. When I learned about “Between Love and Madness,” a new exhibit featuring Mexican comic art in downtown Houston, I was intrigued. I emailed Mr. Christopher Sperandio, a Rice associate professor who designed the exhibit along with his students, to ask if my school could take a field trip to the gallery. To my unexpected delight, Mr. Sperandio said yes, and even offered to meet with us in person.
“I think it was really great that our students gained exposure to new types of artwork. Mr. Spernadio talked to the kids about the importance of gaining new perspectives. He also emphasized the amount of work it takes to be a full time artist,” said Upper School Art Teacher Mrs. Katherine Day.
Mr. Sperandio also provided insight regarding the construction of the gallery. Through a modeling software known as sketchup, Rice students meticulously planned the layout and style of the space. The enthusiastic “YIIIIIIEE” would juxtapose the dark silhouette, while the painting of windows would reflect the physical windows at the end of the gallery.
“The gallery was interesting because all of the comics are in Spanish, so it was fun to translate and understand the story. It made me focus on the images as well, which allowed me to appreciate the artist’s attention to detail,” freshman Emma Bloodworth said.
The exhibit at Lawndale was one of many galleries that Second Baptist students had the opportunity to visit through a program known as Interim Term. For two weeks, students break from traditional learning in order to take unique classes and gain educational experiences through travel. Mrs. Katherine’s Day’s class on “Houston Art and Culture” allowed students to visit a wide variety of cultural installations. However, many of the students expressed that visiting the exhibit at Lawndale was specifically unique and memorable.
“After touring the gallery and hearing from Mr. Sperandio, we got to make our very own comic books. We used ink pens and comic paper. We learned how to authentically convey a story through our own drawings,” Bloodworth said.
Through the two-week Interim Term program and experiences like touring the Lawndale gallery, Second Baptist students are able to gain distinctive perspectives, encounter new cultures, and enhance their education.
Personally, touring "Between Love and Madness" is why I love Interim. I truly hope Interim Term continues to have such a significant impact in subsequent years at Second Baptist School, and I am so grateful to have learned about the design and construction of the exhibit at Lawndale.
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