MTHS hosts art show virtually, citing COVID restrictions


Art piece by Sarah Fieman, senior.

Scotty Reynolds

The art shows have been a significant fixture of the high school for years. An event filled with beautiful pieces admired by students and families milling about, it is evidently difficult to hold a similar event this spring. Nevertheless, the art department of MTHS has been working tirelessly to develop an exquisite show where students can proudly display their art.

The first art show this fall took place virtually, and with a worsening COVID-19 situation in Lancaster, the MTHS art department has committed to having the second art show in May virtually as well. The first show went so well that the second show is planning to follow a similar format.

Although a difficult event to plan, Matthew Jones, one of two art teachers at MTHS, explained the advantage of deciding the show’s format at this early of a point in time. “Planning out the show virtually this far in advance will hopefully allow us to create a more interactive and polished virtual show,” Jones said.

Jones also says that the usual K-12 art show at the high school will most likely not be able to occur in 2021, which is certainly unfortunate. 

Sarah Fieman, a senior artist at MTHS describes a sentiment shared by the majority of the students within the art department. “We’re all really hoping for an in-person show but we understand why a virtual one might have to take place,” says Fieman. 

It has been difficult to present students’ art pieces in the school hallways because touching multiple pieces and the equipment needed to display them would be dangerous. Employing students to display art in the hallways would most likely break safety guidelines. Jones says that the inability to have students personally display their artwork in the hallway has also been a very different part of this year within the art department, as “students cannot help in the process of displaying hanging artwork.” 

Despite its irregularities, there are a few benefits to having a virtual show, especially for the Lancaster County Young Artist show. Jones says that although they are planning on holding an in-person March show, they are prepared to move to a virtual format, if necessary. If the latter must take place, this virtual format presents certain logistical amenities not available with an in-person show. “One nice change about that [virtual] show is we have to submit student artwork by uploading a digital file instead of carrying all the artwork to the Lancaster Museum of Art,” Jones says. 

The MTHS May art show and LCYA art showcase will both certainly look vastly different than the usual display. Yet, the fact that both of these notable artistic opportunities are still able to take place is a feat in and of itself. The beautiful artwork which would usually line the walls of the Lancaster Museum of Art can be seen digitally if a virtual LCYA show occurs. 

Those featured in this LCYA show would have the ability to take photographs of their pieces and present them in a way which the artist intended. The art shows will also be executed cleanly, as ensured by the art department who has plenty of time to polish the virtual show. Although COVID-19 has changed the way in which art can be displayed, it has not changed the way in which the audience can see and interpret the beautiful pieces created by the MTHS student body.