Teen Arts Festival

Alex Schwartz

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The Teen Arts Festival is an opportunity for students from all over Bergen County to come together and appreciate different kinds of art.

The Teen Arts Festival is an opportunity for students from all over Bergen County to come together and appreciate different kinds of art.

On Friday, May 29th, about 3,500 students from all over Bergen County arrived at Bergen Community College to take part in Teen Arts, an arts festival full of different kinds of exhibitions, demonstrations, and classes covering creative writing, visual art, performance, dance, and music. Teens from many different schools had the opportunity to display their talents, experience new kinds of art, and participate in all kinds of seminars.

Ms. Onnembo, one of the visual arts teachers at BCA, has attended the festival numerous times and has invited many of her students to join in the festivities. “Basically what it is,” she said, “is 2,000 kids from all over the county coming together to enjoy arts festivities, from creative journalism to performances to visual arts.”

Pierce Gidez, a sophomore from the performing arts academy, said, “Teen arts is an experience where arts, both visual and performance based, convene and show their skills, and there are many workshops just to show what kind of art there is out there.”

Throughout the day, the many students attended classes, viewed performances or exhibits, or walked around, soaking it all in. With so many budding artists, the scene was very chaotic. Loud music from performing bands rocked the grounds as hundreds of students hurried from seminar to seminar, bought lunch from the tents set up on the ground, or sat down in the grass to enjoy the scene.

An AVPA freshman said that they hadn’t yet visited any of the workshops, rather, “I’ve just been jamming out with other people and enjoying the atmosphere.”

Tatiana Yared said, “I’m really enjoying my experience. If only it was easier to find where to go.”

Some upperclassmen also commented on their experience from previous years, explaining the festival or reminiscing on fun times.

“Teen arts was one of the coolest experiences you could have doing art at BCA,” said Gabby Homonoff, a visual senior. “Not only did you get to experience so many cool things but you also got to spend the whole day with friends.”

Sayo Watanabe, a junior from visual arts, said, “The workshops are really diverse, so you can go out of your comfort zone and experience new kinds of art.”

Another benefit of this experience is that it is not only meant for those BCA students in one of the AVPA academies. Teachers who are aware of students’ artistic talents invited different students from academies such as AAST or AEDT. This helped to create diversity in the visiting choices, as well as a greater sense of unity among the students. Also, since other schools from around the county don’t all have different academies as we do, students from other schools were able to take part in this experience, even without being specialized in art.

Kaylan Purisima, a sophomore in the performing arts (AVPA-T) academy, said, “It’s cool because you get to connect with people from all different schools.”

Yubin Lee, a visual student added: “It’s really fascinating and a great experience to be able to acknowledge different kinds of art with people from the community.”

An AAST sophomore said simply, “Everyone’s insanely talented.”

After such a positive experience from this year’s Teen Arts, many students are excited to have their own experiences at the festival, or revisit to be able to encounter everything that they didn’t have enough time for this year. Hopefully Teen Arts 2016 will have just as much success.