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Bea Freeman, Sarah Traenkle exhibit portraiture, ceramic work in senior shows

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Students and faculty gathered in The Eastern Star Gallery and the Zimmer Gallery to view the work of seniors Bea Freeman and Sarah Traenkle during lunch on April 18. The two artists celebrated the grand opening of their senior shows with food, laughter and conversation. Freeman’s photography exhibit was showcased in the Eastern Star Gallery, while Traenkle’s ceramic collection was displayed in the Zimmer Gallery.

Bea Freeman

A collection of eleven different portraits of different people covered the walls of the Eastern Star Gallery. Freeman, who has taken photography at Archer since freshman year, said she has always “steered” towards portraiture.

“[In portraiture,] I feel like you build a stronger connection with what you’re shooting. I mean, it’s kind of hard to feel that connection with a tree,” Freeman said. “Shooting people who I’m close with is a big part of this project…For a show that’s really close to my heart, I wanted to keep with people who I’m close with.” 

Freeman’s goal was to give viewers a glimpse at the subjects’ personalities and allow them to “get to know them.” Freeman’s photography teacher, Marya Alford, echoed this as she described her reaction to the show.

“When you enter the exhibition and when you go to a singular image and you view it, you have this moment of a story of this person’s life and a story of who they are — their personality, their style, their character,” Alford said. “You kind of can have this empathy within the space and all of the portraits that are represented.” 

“When you enter the exhibition and when you go to a singular image and you view it, you have this moment of a story of this person’s life and a story of who they are — their personality, their style, their character. You kind of can have this empathy within the space and all of the portraits that are represented.” ”

— Marya Alford, photography teacher

Alford also reflected on how Freeman has developed her skills throughout the years. She commented that her senior show reminded her of a project she did last year where she photographed a range of Archer students. Two images of senior Megan Escobar were hung up in the show.

“She has been such a hard worker and a very independent learner. When Bea learns something in class, she takes it and runs with it. She would come back to class and investigate…something that I introduced briefly…further on her own and already know the process of that, ” Alford said. “That’s similar to her senior show. She came up with this idea totally on her own. She wanted to do portraiture — that was something she was interested in…She has this beautiful and amazing collection of Archer students but also students from different areas of Los Angeles.”

Sarah Traenkle

Traenkle’s show was divided into two different sections, where both ocean-inspired pieces and earth-inspired pieces were featured. The pieces in her exhibition, which was named “Surf and Turf,” were all connected to her childhood in some way.

I’ve always loved hiking and being outdoors, so I decided to have a nature-themed show,” Traenkle said. “I first started out with the ocean because I’ve always loved swimming and I always thought I was a mermaid…[Then] I switched to the earth side. I saw this Instagram video of this guy throwing a bowl to make it look like tree bark and I was super inspired.” 

“I’ve always loved hiking and being outdoors, so I decided to have a nature-themed show. I first started out with the ocean because I’ve always loved swimming and I always thought I was a mermaid…[Then] I switched to the earth side. I saw this Instagram video of this guy throwing a bowl to make it look like tree bark and I was super inspired.” ”

— Sarah Traenkle, senior

Ceramics teacher Olivia Moon said she was proud of Traenkle’s work.

“She brings all her memories that were spent in the ocean and in the mountains and really visualized that,” Moon said. “I love it and because of all the technique that she used. [Her exhibit] requires very advanced technique and she was able to pull it off.” 

Both Traenkle and Moon described the show as serene and calming. Moon says that the ceramic pieces actually ‘make her go to the beach.’

“On [the earth side] I want them to think that they’re in a fairy wonderland place, kind of mystical and fun,” Traenkle said. “On [the ocean side…] I just want people to feel nice and calm and just have a good time.”

Senior shows will continue until the end of the school year. The shows of Sage Brand-Wolf and Marley Chaney will open this week in the Eastern Star Gallery.

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About the Contributor
Celeste Ramirez, Staff Writer

Celeste Ramirez joined the Oracle as a columnist in 2017 and as a staff member in 2018. Her column focuses on diversity at Archer, highlighting the connection between her Latina culture and life at Archer. During the school year, she is a part of the Hermanas Unidas executive board, Dance Troupe,  the Archer Ambassador program, and Upper School Choir.

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