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Seniors Present Capstone Portfolios at Art Colloquiums

During this year’s annual Art Colloquiums, seven seniors showcased impressive bodies of work, culminating years of inquiry and research at King School. The students took art courses every year at King, with their final year entirely dedicated to an Original, Personal, Experienced, and Novel (OPEN) capstone portfolio. The students demonstrated their growth through presentations in the Performing Arts Center theater by sharing their processes, artistic influences, experimentations, and innovations during their arts education at King. 

Art and Design Department Chair Brady Shoemaker spoke about the rigor of the senior year Advanced Art courses as he opened the first colloquium on Friday, April 19.

“It's a challenging year,” he said. “Mistakes are made and celebrated. It's never boring, and throughout the year, students' themes often evolve, and their work becomes more nuanced and sophisticated. We emphasize quality over quantity. So a lot of work and revision goes into each piece.”


Lola Shanley’s presentation underlined Shoemaker's point.

“I started this year really unsure of what I wanted to focus my art around,” said Lola. “I began experimenting with perspective drawing and texture. While I didn't completely know what theme I wanted to explore, I gravitated toward more abstract art and the inclusion of texture in a lot of my pieces.”

After discovering the work of Australian artist Nataliia Krykun, Lola decided to incorporate nature-inspired textures and colors into her work. Her complete body of work featured a room decorated with wallpaper, paintings, and sculptures of her own design.

Using familial and personal experience as inspiration, Liv King created two films for her portfolio.
Her work explores the concept of the American dream, contrasted with the contemporary Gen Z experience. 

American Dream

In her film “The American Dream,” Liv interviewed individuals from her life, including her father, who had immigrated to the United States. She incorporated iconic archival American imagery into her work, such as the Apollo 11 spaceship launch and the Statue of Liberty.

Her film “The Nightmare” focused on the Gen-Z experience in America.

“My goal was to show the viewer how the promise of the American dream has been overshadowed by societal pressures, mental and physical health concerns, and an overall sense of disillusionment with the government and authority,” she said. “I encourage all viewers to put themselves in the position of the second film, reflect on how the American dream has mutated since your parents came here, or your grandparents, or even their parents.”

Exploring high and low art, Nathan Trepanier challenged viewers to consider both forms of expression in equal weight.


“High art is what you see in museums. It’s going to be high-brow, high-concept, and either expressions of extreme skill or enormous talent,” he explained. “Low art, which is what I want to focus on today, is going to be the things that you see every day but might overlook. So comic strips, the things you see in TV shows, and books.”

Nathan shared timelapse footage of himself creating detailed character, backdrop, and panel illustrations while discussing the immense amount of work that teams of professional artists put into creating comic books and animated series.

Lexi Murphy found inspiration through reflections on her childhood and time spent in the Upper School. Her work considers a central question: How does the loss and gain of relationships affect our sense of self and our perspective on the future?


After working with visiting artist Leah Caroline at King in December, Lexi decided to use cyanotype printing as her primary medium. Her various prints on paper and fabric incorporated imagery from her childhood, theatrical work at King, patterns inspired by her relationship with her sister, and notes and letters she received. Pieces were embellished with additional elements to create curtains, a baby mobile, a dress, and wall art.

Her final piece was a tribute to the late Adam Boaz, a beloved English teacher, coach, mentor, and Academic Dean. Lexi printed words and comments he had written to her over the years on a thin rice paper scroll.

“The fragile nature of the rice paper represents how delicate life is in and of itself, and how at any moment there can be a gaping hole in your understanding of the way life works, such as when we all also lost a beloved member of our community here at King,” she said. “Mr. Boaz's words will always serve as a reminder of the person I've become.”

Congratulations to all of the following seniors on their incredible work.

William Garland
Olivia King
Lexi Murphy
Ellie O'Brien
Lola Shanley
Kyara Scialpi
Nathan Trepanier

View Art Colloquium 2023-24 Part I here.

View Art Colloquium 2023-24 Part II here.