McLean holds first virtual art show

NAHS moves monthly project online


McLean’s National Art Honors Society (NAHS) organized its first virtual art show of the year. Without physical space in online school, NAHS leaders resolved to create a virtual reality gallery via ArtSteps

The virtual reality art show mimics a physical environment, where users can “walk” around the hall to view paintings, drawings and photos hanging on the wall. They can also click on the artwork to review the artist and title details. 

“[Through the ArtSteps], you can customize the art itself and move it around. It’s a lot faster than creating the actual gallery,” said junior Adilzhan Nazarov, visual designer and artist who built the virtual gallery. “We also thought about making it just a website on Wix or something where we post up artworks. But we wanted to go for a more interactive feel.”

Student Art Project Manager and senior Eliana Durkee said she loves the most about working to perfect the art show, and her passion continued even as students shifted to an online environment. 

“I’ve developed an enthusiasm for everything from decorating the gallery to bugging my friends to submit artwork,” Durkee said. “By the end of the show, I can tell you the name of every artwork and the person who made it because I have spent weeks working to get them ready. Seeing so much talent and being trusted to put it on display for others has been such a privilege.”

This year, the leadership team decided to organize art shows by month, with the exception of the upcoming November/December art show due to the holiday season. On average, each team member spends about one to two hours per week on the effort. 

“[Assistant Manager] Riley and I were able to expand the team that works on the gallery,” Durkee said. “We have two people who work on submissions, two virtual designers, and two social media coordinators.”

The theme of the next show is Fire & Ice, and artists can click here to submit their work by Dec. 21. The gallery will open on Jan. 8, 2021. Interested students can follow @mcleannahs to receive more information. 

“The best way for them to get involved is simply to submit,” Durkee said. “We love to see [students’] work and it is a great way to ensure they are stretching their creative muscles during a time when they may be feeling overwhelmed by academics.”