TNCS’s Second Annual Art Show Beguiles Attendants!

tncs-seconnd-annual-art-showThe Arts are an integral part of every school day at The New Century School. Visual arts teacher (and newlywed, hence the name change) Elisabeth Davies hosted the first-ever TNCS student art show during the 2015–2016 school year, but her show this year took it to a new level.

Kicking off Memorial Day weekend, the show comprising works from each and every primary through middle school student took place Friday, 5/26/17, from 5:30 pm–6:30 pm. Paintings, drawings, and sculptures were on display, spiraling up the central staircase of building south and spilling out into the hallways. A silent auction* and reception were held in the multipurpose room. Attendees were invited to have some snacks and do a gallery walk through the school, guided by their young artists.

Ms. Davies says she came up with the idea for hosting an art show having grown up participating in one every year. “I grew up always having an art show in the district,” she explained. “It combined art from three elementary schools, two middle schools, and the local high school. It was a really fun event that brought everyone together and meant a lot to the kids to get to show their families.”


It evidently means a lot to TNCS students as well. Ms. Davies says, “The students have worked so hard on every project this year, knowing that I would be putting together an art show at the end of the year. They were all very excited.”

Her primary goals for the show were to have some fun but also demonstrate the technique and skill that go into creating art:

I wanted to show parents all the skills their children learned this year in art. It may just look like a drawing of a snowman, but the kindergarteners and 1st-graders learned how to create foreshortened space and give volume to a sphere using shading. The 4th- through 6th-graders are learning how to draw from life and see and translate those things into paper. I’m so proud of every single student in the school.

As for the primary students, Head of School Alicia Danyali explains, “Primary students have studied communities all year long, working from the closest community to them (their families) all the way out to the world. This month, we have discussed what we all have in common and what makes us different, and that we are all part of a larger community outside of ourselves.” You’ll read below how this translates to their art.
And, with this brief introduction, we leave you now to feast your eyes on these amazing works of creativity, beauty, imagination, and masterful execution. This is truly one of those times when the picture is worth 1,000 words.

Snowmen at Night

Bad Hair Day


Cooperative Monsters


Inner Self-Portrait

Van Gogh, Pigasso, and Mootisse

Inedible Food




*TNCS’s curriculum teaches global citizenship and peace. With that in mind, the primary students are excited to help other children in North America by making something with their own hands. The Peter Hesse Foundation aims to promote quality early childhood education; compassion; and a peaceful, just world. Parents for all ages were invited to take part in primary’s silent auction to benefit The Peter Hesse Foundation.

Pipa Concert at TNCS

Li Laoshi poses with her pipa just before the concert began.

Li Laoshi poses with her pipa just before the concert began.

Li Yangyang joined The New Century School this year from southwest China, where she is a graduate student at Sichuan University, working to obtain a Master of Pedagogy degree. Li Laoshi also has abundant experience teaching Chinese as a foreign language, and TNCS is proud to have her on board. Assisting in the Chinese classrooms is not the only skill Li Laoshi brings to the table, however. She plays pipa (similar to a lute) and guqin (similar to a zither), both ancient Chinese musical instruments. She has completed high-level certification in pipa through the China Traditional Music Association. Xie Laoshi says, “Yangyang is a true artist! ”

On Thursday, October 24th in Building North, TNCS students got to see and hear for themselves just how talented Li Laoshi really is. As part of TNCS’s ongoing focus on studying other cultures as well as The Arts, Li Laoshi presented a 30-minute concert showcasing her pipa music.

“I started playing pipa when I was 7 years old,” she says. “At that time , my neighbor’s daughter played pipa, and when she practiced it, I could hear the music. I thought that music sounded so good, and it made me feel peaceful. When I first saw the pipa at her home, I was excited by its beauty.  I asked my parents, ‘can I play this instrument?’ and 2 weeks later, I saw a beautiful pipa waiting for me in my room. Now, I have been playing pipa for 16 years. I love this instrument very much!”

Staff and students alike, TNCS really enjoyed the pipa show!

Staff and students alike, TNCS really enjoyed the pipa show!

Li Laoshi played four songs, each very different, including her introductory song (“The Language of Pipa”; 琵琶语), the theme song from a cartoon (“Counting Ducks”; 数鸭子), a war song (“Surrounded on All Sides”; 十面埋伏), and the most popular pipa song in China (“Nezha”; 墨明棋妙 – 哪吒). As she began “Counting Ducks,” she invited the audience to sing along. Lo and behold, the entire student body sang right along—from the pre-primary students to the elementary students! During the last song, which was quite spirited, one of the elementary girls was spotted playing “air pipa”! Suffice to say, the kids loved the concert!

For those of you who could not attend the concert, do not despair! Here is a video of Li Laoshi playing the third song in her line-up. Enjoy!