Crazy for crochet: Winter Art Gallery features ‘Crochet Coral Reef’


Megan Evans

“Crochet Coral Reef”, created by students from Mrs. Simanis’ Fiber, Fabric, and Fashion (Advanced Textiles) class can be seen at the gallery.

By Megan Evans, Reporter

Detailed drawings of plants, vases and skulls from Art 1. Cute cartoons and images from AP Design. A coral reef filled with hues of light pink, ocean blue and bright orange. An array of flowers, faces and fruit. These lively and realistic works of art were all displayed at the Winter Art Gallery.

The gallery included artwork from classes such as Digital Imaging, Honors Painting, Printmaking, AP Design and many more. Along with these classes, one class’s artwork took up a big part of the gallery — Fabric, Fiber, and Fashion, also known as Advanced Textiles.

On the left side of the room stood a colorful coral reef. Light pink jellyfish, grassy green sea cucumbers and brightly colored plants sat on a bright blue water-like area. Walking closer, one was able to see that the whole display is made from crochet — a method of crafting different shapes and pieces by using yarn and a crochet hook.

Mrs. Simanis-Laimins, teacher of Advanced Textiles, said that this idea of a “Crochet Coral Reef” is actually very popular among people all throughout the world, and is popular in informing people about coral reefs.

“The idea came from seeing an art show in New York called ‘Crochet Coral Reef,’ and it’s really like an internationally known project that’s meant to kind of bring people’s attention to this idea that the coral reefs are in danger,” Simanis said.

Along with the beautiful end result of the coral reef that Simanis’ students created, there was also an informative lesson about sea life. She said that while students were working on the project, they were also discussing issues facing marine life.

“I’m always trying to do different things and trying to find what’s called the ‘sweet spot,’ a place where students are learning and interested in the projects, but doesn’t take so much time that we’re only working on that one thing,” Simanis said.

Students in Contemporary Painting, taught by Mrs. Wain, created close up paintings, Martyna Akerman, Div. 982, said.

“We had to focus on one part of an image that we chose and depict all the detail,” Akerman said.

Because of her love of nature and of the color purple, Akerman created a lavender flower, using darker background colors to bring more attention to it.

Wain’s class also showcased their art outside of the main office, where they did expressive portraits, Akerman said.

“We had to pick an emotion, take a picture of someone expressing this emotion and then paint it,” Akerman said.

Students who take Digital Imaging II, like Sydney Chanen, Div. 952, had their pictures showcased for the gallery. Taught by Ms. Diamond, Chanen said that Digital Imaging is a relaxing class that involves learning Photoshop and photography.

“That assignment [for the gallery] was called a ‘low poly,’ where we remade photos out of small triangles to give it a 3D effect,” Chanen said.

For her project, Chanen said she was able to use a picture that she loves and to use the skills  she was taught in class to remake it into something new. She also said that she was thrilled to see her own artwork in the gallery.

“I worked really hard on the low poly, so I was excited that others liked it as well,” Chanen said.

The Winter Art Gallery opened on Dec. 19 and will remain open until Feb. 15. While the gallery is soon coming to a close, Simanis said that teachers are already preparing for the Spring Art Gallery, set to go up on Feb. 22.