Q&A: NCHS Art Exhibition ‘Through Our Eyes XII’ Opens This Week at Carriage Barn


Through Our Eyes XII

The annual New Canaan High School art exhibition opens with a reception to be held 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 14 at the Carriage Art Barn Center. The exhibition, “Through Our Eyes XII,” runs March 15 to 30, featuring dozens of paintings, drawings, photography, mixed media and other work from 120-plus NCHS students. Sponsors include Williams Raveis, Anderson Kenny Architecture, HTG Advisors and NewCanaanite.com

We put some questions about the exhibition to Carriage Barn Executive Director Hilary Wittmann ahead of the opening.

Here’s our exchange.


New Canaanite: Tell us about this year’s annual NCHS exhibition. What are you seeing from these young artists?

Hilary Wittmann: An incredible display of diversity and mediums of self-expression. The exhibition highlights some of the most exceptional work created by students at every grade level in a range of NCHS visual arts classes. We love to see the different approaches and creative interpretations taken when given a similar assignment or artistic prompt. Each piece in this exhibition really tells a story about that student’s interests, beliefs, artistic progression or how they view the world around them. 

In your view, what is most surprising about the work that’s featured in “Through Our Eyes XII”?

What’s most surprising to me is the range of mediums that students at the New Canaan High School are not only able to explore, but the level of skill and technique they are achieving at their age. The addition of the ceramics program has added a whole new dimension to the exhibit with three dimensional work, and the short films on view show how students are collaborating to tell stories and express themselves. It really is a testament to the caliber of the arts program and the dedication of the teachers Maggie Pennoyer, Jennifer Sinski and Kimanne Core.

What should our readers know about the exhibition—for example, how can they see it? Is there an opening reception?

Yes! The opening reception is on Thursday, March 14 from 5-6:30pm and all are welcome to attend. The students and their families will be there along with much of the NCPS administration and Carriage Barn members and supporters. The Board of Directors of the Carriage Barn Arts Center is very excited to present this year’s $1,000 scholarship award to one exceptional artist to further their artistic pursuits or education. The gallery is open to the public and free as always, and this exhibit runs through March 30. Hours are Wed-Sat 10am-3pm and Sunday 1-5pm. 

What would you say to someone who appreciates art but has never had an opportunity to view work from our own high school students here in town?

This is definitely a show that’s not to be missed at the Carriage Barn. Each year we see how people of all ages appreciate and respond to this exhibition—younger kids in elementary and middle school as well as older generations are really inspired. It’s not just the level of skill and talent that’s on display, it’s also the freedom and bravery of self expression. It’s a real reminder of how important it is to foster and celebrate the students’ creative pursuits. Also, don’t wait to visit because many pieces are for sale ($75-150) and the exhibit is a favorite of collectors in the area. 

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