The rising popularity of aRtCHK

Written by Ariana Jones

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“aRtCHK” has never been more of a competitive event. The annual competition took place last month, prelude to the ever-tense upcoming RCHK House events such as Athletics Carnival, Football Games, Arm Wrestling and Idol. Students with an interest in visual arts were given a chance to win House points through fun, collaborative drawing, rather than physical activities.

This year the artwork was judged on elements of visual design as well as the relevance to the theme: Unity.

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“We are incorporating this theme to get the students to include the theme of the school community as well,” said Stacey Leung, the supervising Visual Arts teacher. “We don’t want to see anything on the board that will tell us which House it is from.”

The practitioners were given three days to create a design with their House members. As there was the addition of the theme to consider, there was much discussion amongst the House members, seeing as there were fewer limitations on what they could actually draw from previous years. Themes had never been present before in normal aRtCHK guidelines, as the participants have in the past been left to base their artwork off of their House mascots instead of a given concept.

As per every year, students from each house attended voluntarily through a sign-up process, although some House captains were required to participate to increase the member count as well as the team spirit. Students from any year level were able to participate, further opening up the need for teamwork due to the different perspectives that separate age groups can have.

Entian Qiu, a student in Year 9 noted that he thought the younger kids were “a bit intimidated” by all the older kids. “I think this because they didn’t share many ideas with the group, even though they seemed to have them.”

Due to the event being spread across the course of three lunchtimes, teams were told to spend their first session on planning and the development of ideas. Another change that was implemented was the role of the art scholars. A few student art scholars are always present, although their jobs never really extended further than being the more experienced leaders of each team. However, this year the designs were all taken home by those students and “finalised”, as Leung put it.

By the first live art-making session on February 20, the event had sped up and the students were allowed to start working on the boards. Designs were brought back and discussed again by all the different House members before the students allocated areas for themselves on each board.

“Coming from both a house captain and an art scholar,” said Jasia Pang from Song House, “Since those who signed up were enthusiastic about art, it was nice to see them get into it and be enthusiastic while trying to complete the piece.”

On the last day of aRtCHK, the students got straight into their artwork and worked through most of lunchtime to complete the competition. The time was stopped as the bell rang and the boards were placed against the walls outside of the PAC, presented fittingly against the other paintings on the wall.

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Finally, Leung and the other House directors judged the Houses into 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th place.

Tang was later announced over email as the winning house. Student speculations were finally brought to a conclusion as the exciting competition was laid to rest.

Although not a part of the winning team Pang extolled the value of the event, “I was surprised to find out that we came second place. I think that overall, no matter what place we [got] I [would] still be happy as we worked together to create a piece in a little under two hours.”