Tag Archives: Jessica Bastidas

Highlighting Student Achievement in the Arts

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Fine Arts week has just concluded. This, for students of Saint Joe, marks the beginning of the end of the school year and the opportunity to see new expressions of emotions. The crown jewel of Fine Arts Week is inarguably The Art Show. Student art is used to decorate the second floor of Xavier Hall and the main entrance of the building. The art created by students throughout the year is presented at this gala. With many beautiful pieces of art, one would be hard-pressed to not find something they like.

IMG_1921I spoke with the newest member of the Art Department, Ms. Bastidas, and asked her what new projects she implemented into her classes. Ms. Bastidas explained that she introduced several different pieces seen very rarely in the shows of the past; she brought in weaving, charcoal portraits, mask building, soapstone carvings, still lives, and much more. Ms. Bastidas explained how she wanted the art created by students to express their emotions through their pieces and to learn more about symbolism as they incorporated it firsthand. Many of her fundamental students, as well as her advanced students, were able to show their rising talents by touching the canvas with their imagination–and brush of course.

The AP Studio Art students are renowned for creating some of the best art in the show, and the best art by these students is being displayed in the center of the studio on the second floor of Xavier Hall with even more work being placed in the showcase next to the front doors. The art coming from these students is quite diverse as well. Some of these students took to inspirations one would not expect to see in a high school show. One student, Aaron, had several paintings within the show that expressed the second side of life here within Baltimore City; these pieces show the disparity of living within the underdeveloped areas and the impact it has the young men and women’s social standing. To quote Aaron, “My inspiration are the daily struggles that I experience and visualize with my brothers of the Baltimore streets. The conflicts of the denomination of lower class African American population should not be overlooked!” (Born Dead & The Temptation)

“My inspiration are the daily struggles that I experience and visualize with my brothers of the Baltimore streets. The conflicts of the denomination of lower class African American population should not be overlooked!”

As shown through our past art shows, inspiration can come from anything. Joseph R, a senior, stated that his inspiration came from not only the pieces of art his teachers have created, but the relationships he has with those around him. Joseph also explained how his pieces don’t require the inspiration from a person but rather, “the way the paint interacts with the canvas leads me to the next step in the process.”  Another student, Alex F, explained that sometimes you don’t need inspiration from the environment but just from how you feel. For example, two of his pieces displayed in the show were labeled after emotions and depicted them as such through the alteration and destruction of the canvases. To quote him, “Art is the greatest escape from reality.” This is a great way to teach the significance of art and why the young men of Mount Saint Joseph should involve themselves with the wonderful experiences of art.

Ms. Bastidas: Drawn to Baltimore’s Community of Artists

Ms. Jessica Bastidas is originally from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

With a new year starting at MSJ, the newest additions to the MSJ community arrive. Since several teachers unfortunately left, St. Joe had to accommodate for the incoming class of 2021. With several new teachers joining the faculty family, each has his or her own creative flair to add to this community.

When talking about creativity, most people tend to think about art. Our newest addition to the art department, Ms. Bastidas, brings her own creative flair to the department and to her classes. Ms. Bastidas is from Bethlehem, PA, and came to the city of Baltimore to pursue her degree in art and teaching. After interning under Mr. Bieniek and seeing the strong community of the school as well as the individual talent of the students, Ms. B knew that MSJ is where she wanted to teach. She hopes to be able to have a positive impact on students and their ability to express themselves through art. Her main goal is to help students get out of the “MSJ bubble,” to have them explore new forms of art and, if possible, to show them galleries and let them experience the world of art. Ms. B has also stated her love for the Catholic ideals, Xaverian values, the creativity of the students, and the school’s individuality as a whole, which make MSJ what it is.

Ms. Bastidas says one of her main goals is to help students get out of the “MSJ Bubble.”

Ms. B isn’t just teaching here at MSJ: she also teaches two summer classes at the Baum School and the Banana Factory in PA. While Ms. Bastidas isn’t teaching, she travels around the world learning new types of art styles and forms from diverse communities. Ms. Bastidas learned and loved the way in which communities around the world create art that is dear to them even though they have limited resources. This is one of the many reasons as to why Ms. Bastidas loves the great city of Baltimore: “I love the community of artists, it doesn’t feel pressured and is supportive to new and rising artists. It’s not as competitive as let’s say, NYC. There are a lot of opportunities for community artwork.”

We welcome one of the newest teachers here at MSJ and the creative flair she’ll bring to our community.