Exhibit Features Hillcrest High Artists

A team of four Hillcrest students joined forces to create an exhibit for the SPARK! PRISMATIC immersive pop-up.

The pop-up features work from local high school students and will be open in South Side on Lamar through Aug. 27.

The Hillcrest team of Inergee, Kyra, Dana, and Keyla, advised by art teacher Karleen Hesselbacher, designed, created, and built the all-green “Hillcrest Body Garden” following the monochromatic theme. Citing privacy concerns, school leaders would not provide full names. 

“My students were inspired by our art studio classroom that has a unique collection of real house plants that have been thriving there since 2019,” Hesselbacher said. “I also have a strange collection of mannequin body parts and science lab models of the human body.”

When the opportunity came up to enter the contest, Hesselbacher showed examples of art installations like Nam June Paik’s TV Garden and Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms, and “the ideas just started pouring out of them.”

The Hillcrest students’ installation is covered in shades of green, and the centerpiece is a man becoming one with nature while other body parts emerge from a grass-covered ground. The walls are partially mirrored, giving the exhibit another dimension.

“I want to make a proposal (to the school) for the PRISMATIC rooms to be a lesson for my upper-level art classes,” Hesselbacher said. “I hope that by making the installation rooms a lesson, more of my students would want to have this opportunity and be willing to enter their ideas.”

For the students, planning and making lists were important parts of the creative process, and identifying the desired viewer reaction played a key part in the garden’s design.

“I think the biggest takeaway for me, and my students, was the importance of time management and team building,” Hesselbacher said. “They all had to push through, and the end result was rewarding for them.”


When: Fridays and Saturdays 4 to 8 p.m. and Sundays 1 to 6 p.m. through Aug. 27

Where: South Side on Lamar, 1409 S. Lamar St.

Tickets: $18 for teachers, $21 for children 2-17, $23 for adults 18 and older, and free for children under 2 at SPARKDallas.org.

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