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Artist of the Month: Aaron Siegel hopes to pursue career in photography

[media-credit name=”courtesy Aaron Siegel” align=”alignnone” width=”300″][/media-credit]

“Consumerism” is one of the photographs senior Aaron Siegel took for his Senior Year Project.
by Peter Diamond
Whether he is developing photos in this school’s dark room, designing the scenery for Theatre Ink’s next production or constructing sculptures for his Senior Year Project (SYP), senior Aaron Siegel is an active participant in arts at this school.

Siegel is a photography major III and Theatre Ink’s student technical director. Additionally, he is working on a SYP, which involves sculpture and documentary.

Siegel is currently enrolled in honors photography major III. Having studied photography at this school since freshman year, he has developed his own unique style, he said.

“The majority of my photography is shot on black and white film,” he said. “In general, I create situations as opposed to finding them.

“For example, I would much rather have my own situation set up with specific lighting and objects as opposed to just finding a beautiful flower or taking a picture of a sunset. That type of photography has been done many times before and does not excite me.”

Siegel plans to study photography at an art school and then pursue the art form as a career.

He owes much of his artistic passion and talent to this school’s fine and performing arts department, he said.

“The photography program is great because of two things, the first thing being the teacher,” said Siegel. “Over the past four years, Ron Morris has taught me how to give meaning to my projects through productive brainstorming. He helped me realize that I want to be an artist.

“The facilities here at NNHS are also great. There are a number of options for both digital and film, which is rare in many high schools,” he said.

Photography teacher Ron Morris identified Siegel as exemplary.

“Aaron is an outstanding photo student, both technically and creatively,” said Morris. “He’s one of the best I’ve had over the years, and that’s a long time.”

Theatre Ink stage crew

The summer before Siegel’s freshman year was the first time in which he participated in technical theatre. He worked on the stage crew of Newton Summer Stage, a retired citywide summer theatre program. Since then, technical theatre has been a passion of his, he said.

“Being a member of stage crew is like being part of a big family,” he explained. “You spend so much time with the people that you work with over the years that you really develop a strong bond with everybody.”

Although Siegel is constantly working on a tight schedule, he said he has remained an active participant in technical theatre at this school throughout his four years here.

“It is also, of course, extremely time consuming, but I do it because I love it. It only occasionally feels like actual work for me because it’s something I genuinely enjoy doing.”

“My favorite shows to design over the last four years have been my scenic designs for ‘Eurydice’ and ‘Sunday in the Park with George,’” he said.

“The set for ‘Eurydice’ was a fixed set, meaning no set pieces shifted on or off. It also utilized a river and an elevator. The set was based off of the theme of an old carnival to convey the creepiness of the underworld in the production,” Siegel said.

The set for ‘Sunday in the Park with George’ consisted of a physical representation of the painting ‘A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte’ by Georges Seurat.

“The actors portrayed the people in the painting, and the set was the background. At the end of the show, the arches all shifted to reveal a completely white stage,” Siegel said.

As Theatre Ink’s student technical director, Siegel oversees stage crew under the guidance of Theatre Ink technical director Mike Barrington-Haber.

Senior Year Project

Siegel will spend fourth term combining sculpture, documentary and the study of relevant social issuesfor his SYP, including suicide, drug addiction and contraception.

“I am creating a series of sculptures that each reflect my opinion on a specific social issue,” he said. “Once these sculptures are completed, I’ll bring them to public locations and examine not only how people react to public art but also how people react to my stance on the social issues.”

This will culminate in a display in the Library Learning Commons, he said.

The final product of this SYP will be a documentary covering Siegel’s discoveries in this artistic process.

English teacher Kimberly Parker is acting as the adviser for Siegel’s SYP.

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