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Governor’s School for Visual and Performing Arts and Humanities

Governor’s School for Visual and Performing Arts and Humanities

 This summer I had the privilege of attending Governor’s School for Visual Arts for one month. It was an amazing experience that I won’t forget. Being around so many passionate people was incredibly inspiring. Not only was I surrounded by artists, but also actors, singers, instrumentalists, dancers, and humanities kids. It was encouraging to see how everyone there was willing to take risks to pursue what they love, even if what they were going after wasn’t considered a “safe” job. This might have been one of the biggest things I took away from Gov School.
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Right when we got there, all the 425 students were split into 24 groups, each headed by a counselor. The groups were a mix of people from all the different programs, so we had people from theater, dance, humanities, band, singing, and art. I LOVED my group and counselor and we all became so close. Right from the start each group did games and bonding activities. Throughout the month, we went off campus several times to eat dinner together or go shopping. Each group also came up with different chants and slogans that they went by. We performed these in the beginning of the open mic nights that were held every Friday night. Everyone who sang, danced, or performed at the open mic nights were BEYOND talented.
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At the end of every week, we also had dances with different themes including red carpet, 20s, and 90s.
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For the 4th of July we all walked down to a huge park with lots of vendors and a live band.
It was probably one of my favorite 4ths ever.
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The fireworks were amazing!
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All of the Humanities kids also organized Govstock, which was inspired by Woodstock! Humanities kids set up lots of vendors and activities to go on during the event too. There were always people performing or singing on a makeshift stage on the lawn, and people selling tye dye t-shirts, face painting, or giving out free hugs.
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Angelika Johns Photography | Governor's School | Personal Post
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The sun was setting and it was gorgeous so we stepped aside to take a few pictures 🙂
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Aside from the social aspect, I learned so much and definitely grew as an artist. The 45 art kids were split into 5 groups of 9 and we all rotated through 3 classes (ceramics, studio art time, and metals), overlapping in studio art, and also had a free block to work on our weekly group project.

The first week, studio art was replaced by bookmaking, which was really cool to learn! I’m still trying to decide what to draw/write on the front cover of the bigger one.

Angelika Johns Photography | Governor's School | Personal Post
Bookmaking gave me a new appreciation for the craft. It takes a lot of patience and precision.
Angelika Johns Photography | Governor's School | Personal PostAngelika Johns Photography | Governor's School | Personal Post
The first class my group had every day was ceramics with Mr. Dodson. I learned how to spin pots, vases, mugs, etc. It’s SO much harder than it looks and I only ended up making a few things within the month I was there.
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Next we headed to a different building where we worked on our group project. We were assigned a new project each week, but we had until the end of the month to finish them. These were to all be hung up in the lobby for when the parents came in. Our first, and main project was to create a four legged  structure out of cardboard. We decided to do a man coming out of the wall holding onto a leash, chasing his dog. Then, on another wall you would see the back legs of the dog jumping into the wall. 4 legs total.
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Angelika Johns Photography | Governor's School | Personal Post
The other project we had was to create 2 posters with our group name and slogan. The third one was to design the back of a skateboard around a central theme. Our group decided to go under the theme of “Rush Hour” in the U.S. and how we are always rushing to do everything: rushing to grow up, rushing in traffic, rushing to fall in love, rushing so much that we don’t even have the time to sit and enjoy a meal at times, but instead resort to fast food.
Angelika Johns Photography | Governor's School | Personal Post
After we worked on our group project, we headed over to the studio for 2 hours with Dr. Bay. During this time we could work on anything. I spent part of this time working on bigger projects and part of this time working on my art”minis.” Every Monday, we had 5 or more small sketches due. Dr. Bay would roll out a huge sheet of white paper and have us place our minis down anonymously. Then he would critique them and tell us how we could improve, what worked, and what didn’t. Below is some art that I worked on, while there.
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After studio time, my group headed over to metals with Mrs. Pak. I had never worked with metals, drills, saws, or blowtorches before, so it was a really eye opening experience. Our first project was to create a self portrait. Next we made jewelry.
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After classes, my friends and I would do art in the quad or in someones room until dinner.  Towards the end of the month, different programs would put on performances showing what they had been working on, which lots of people attended. It all went by so fast and the art show was here before I knew it. Parents came to look around and pick up their kids.
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Art minis.
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My art professors!
Angelika Johns Photography | Governor's School | Personal Post
My group counselor, Qiana 🙂
Angelika Johns Photography | Governor's School | Personal Post
I’m sad that it ended, but I look forward to keeping in touch with all the great people I met! Thank you to everyone who helped put together all the fun activities and classes. I’ll definitely take what I learned and apply it to what I do in the future.

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welcome, friend!

I’m Angelika, a Washington D.C. and Harrisonburg based photographer. Photographing people and brands I love all around the world is my passion, and I would enjoy nothing more than to work with you too! Shoot me a message so that I can say hi, personally thank you for stopping by, or set up a session with you!

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