The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

Niles West Fine Arts Department Holds Social Justice Art Show


The Niles West Fine Arts Department held their Social Justice Art Show, “I Scream for Change” Wednesday, May 8. Students from the visual arts and culinary department worked together to create artwork and desserts representing important worldly issues.

This year’s annual Artist + Activist art show was inspired by the work with social activism that Ben & Jerry’s has implemented into their business model. Students from various levels of art classes created ice cream flavors and packages with a social clause that was important to them. 3-D artists made three-dimensional ice cream cones, studio artists designed comic books and the arts appreciation students painted ice cream cones.

With a unique opportunity to bring awareness to societal issues in school, students spent over two months creating their desserts.

“I choose to create my ice cream on the representation of women in the media and how much influences were made by big corporations. This topic is a pressing issue that interests me and I am glad I had the chance to express my viewpoints with art,” sophomore Ally Nguyen said.

Audiences of the show were able to learn more about important activism topics, such as gun violence, LGBTQ+ rights and plastic in the ocean by expressive ceramics and paintings.

“We hoped that students would use their incredible talents to take a stance and inform the audience about things that are important to them. By requiring each student to research their cause and write an artist statement about it as well. We [hoped] the audience would leave the show more informed about… social issues,” visual arts teacher Deanna Sortino said.

The culinary department brought students’ ideas to life by voting on their favorite ideas and then found recipes to match. Four ice cream flavors were created, mint chocolate chip, strawberry, brownie and turtle.

The collaboration between visual arts and culinary served as a reminder for students in Culinary 1 classes of what they can achieve in the future.

“I am in the entry-level gourmet class, and seeing the advanced culinary chefs create different ice cream flavors makes me want to continue with this elective and hopefully work with other peers in the fine arts department,” sophomore Emily Kim said.

Culinary teacher Maria Kelly hopes for more collaborations in the future as well.

“We always love an opportunity to collaborate with our colleagues, especially within our own department. We hope for many more collaborations in the future,” Kelly said.

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