Artwork displays City pride at SFO

28 student-artists’ work featured in ‘Destinations’ airport exhibit.


Kristina Cary, Managing Editor

Graphite sketches, digital designs, oil and acrylic paintings, photographs, prints and collages comprise a Stuart Hall-coordinated display featuring Convent art at the San Francisco International Airport.

The display contains 43 works of art created by 28 students and two collaborative teams, according to Stuart Hall High School’s Artist-in-Residence Patter Hellstrom.

“This is the third time Stuart Hall has been invited by the SFO Museum — a museum in every sense of the word — which does exhibitions throughout all the terminals at SFO,” Hellstrom said. “This is our third show, ‘Destinations,’ and this is the first time that the whole high school division will be participating.”

Students who submitted installations to the exhibit worked on their pieces in class from mid-November to mid-December, with the only requirements on sizing, adherence to the exhibit’s theme, and being a two-dimensional work.

“One of the goals of our program is to provide professional and out-of-school opportunities for our students to display our work,” Visual Art department chair Rachel McIntire said. “In the past we’ve done collaborations with the de Young and citywide art contests, and this year this is just a great opportunity for it to be at the airport, since it’s going to be seen by so many people.”

The display theme connects with this year’s four-school school theme of “Paths To…,” according to McIntire.

“I was thinking about what ‘Destinations’ means to me, which is the familiarity of a new place, since almost everywhere I go reminds me a little bit of San Francisco,” senior Cole Fuetsch, who created the acrylic painting “Bridges,” said about her creative process. “I like to compare the places I go to, so I had the familiarity of a place I know really well with the contrast of a new lens on a different culture or a new setting.”

Back in the Sacred Heart community, mugs sold during Celebrate Spring featured Fuetsch’s painting along with three Stuart Hall pieces.

“We made these mugs for ourselves,” Hellstrom said. “This is an in-house production between the high school divisions in keeping with the museum tradition of having a gift store, but our gift store is really just through Convent & Stuart Hall.”

Displaying art at the airport gives students a chance to collaborate with other artists, share their work with a larger community and gain feedback, according to McIntire.

“I think it’s a really important opportunity for them to explore having an audience and what that relationship is when you share your work with a greater number of people,” McIntire said. “A lot of our students are going on to study either visual arts or communication, and I think this is a nice thing to put in their ‘suitcase’ of a professional experience that they had.”

Fuetsch said this is the first time her work has been displayed outside of the school community.

“I feel good about it,” Fuetsch said. “It’s an honor, and I’m really happy to have my work displayed in such a prestigious place, especially since all my previous work has only been displayed in fairs and stuff.”

The exhibit runs through May at the Terminal 1 baggage claim area and does not require passing through airport security.

“What makes this such a great opportunity is that they share their work with tens of thousands of travelers and passersby,” Hellstrom said. “It lets the larger public know about Convent & Stuart Hall and the work that we’re doing here — and they can see and be inspired by the students’ work.”