Heart Gallery at Crossroads Mall is high (school) art

Mar 20, 2018, 4:22 PM | Updated: Mar 21, 2018, 11:08 am

There’s an art exhibition going up at Crossroads Mall this week that’s been created and curated entirely by Bellevue high school students.

It’s called the Heart Gallery, which stands for “high-schoolers expressing art.” It’s the brainchild of a group of seniors at Big Picture School.

RELATED: Outdoor preschool holds class at Seattle’s Olympic Sculpture Park

“We started to notice that our art teacher would continue talking about not having enough resources or funds to buy us new materials,” explained Senior Bella Burckhardt. “We also noticed that our art wasn’t really going anywhere. Everyone at our school is making really amazing pieces and they were just sitting in the back of the classroom.”

Bella’s passion is watercolors. Anjali Skilton loves photography. Victoria Helmer makes stained glass windows. All three are extremely well spoken. The group just recently returned from Austin, Texas, where they were selected to present their idea for the Heart Gallery at South by Southwest’s Young Entrepreneurs Conference.

This is just the latest in a long list of accomplishments they’ve already racked up before they’ve even graduated from high school. It’s all due to the focus on internships and project based learning at Big Picture, which is both a middle and high school.

From the classroom to Heart Gallery

Each year the students have to identify an area of interest that they’ll focus on. Then, they spend every Thursday in the community rather than in the classroom.

“There are a few requirements, but they don’t really feel like requirements,” Bella said. “They feel like things that will help you.”

First, they have to identify a mentor. Then, they have to find a space to meet with their mentor. Finally, they have to identify a project that will benefit both the student and the organization they’re working with.

Big Picture Advisor Kaarina Aufranc helps guide the internships and gets feedback on the student’s performance.

“They cannot believe that these kids are just kids, that they’re high school students,” Aufranc said. “I’ve heard it over and over and over again. They’re just so impressed with not just the quality of work, but the professionalism and the communication.”

Bella, Victoria, and Anjali have had a variety of internships in the six years they’ve spent at Big Picture, including work at the Bellevue Arts Museum, the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department,  KBCS Radio, a start-up company on Mercer Island, and the Bellevue Schools Foundation.

They’re now using all of that experience and their connections to open the Heart Gallery at Crossroads Mall.

The art will be on display March 21 through April 4. All of the pieces will be available for purchase with proceeds returning to the arts programs in the Bellevue School District.

This year’s theme is the Pacific Northwest. And, hopefully, Heart Gallery will be back again next year.

“We’re hoping to package this up and pass it down to other high schoolers in our school who have internship opportunities,” Bella said. “It’s definitely something we want to continue, and continue to grow.”

Ron and Don

KIRO Radio Newsdesk

Ron and Don’s last show on KIRO Radio

Last night was Ron and Don’s last show on KIRO Radio.
3 years ago
Kelly Herzberg in her natural habitat. (Photo by Rachel Belle)...
Rachel Belle

In Seattle, a personal shopper and stylist who only shops at thrift stores

If you think you can't afford a personal stylist, head to the thrift store with Sweet Kelly Anne Styling's Kelly Herzberg who will pull hundreds of pieces for you to try on.
3 years ago
Viaduct waterfront...
Ron Upshaw

What do we do with the waterfront after the viaduct is gone?

After the viaduct is taken down, we'll be left with a choice: What do we do with one of the most beautiful waterfronts in the country?
3 years ago
Ron Upshaw

Shower Thoughts: Ichiro can give Mariners fans something to root for

Rumor has it that Ichiro might make a comeback next year, and I for one welcome it.
3 years ago
Border wall...
Ron Upshaw

Trying to figure out why people want Trump’s border wall

A little over 40 percent of Americans now support the idea of a border wall, but what is it about it that seems so attractive?
3 years ago
Dan McCartney, Pierce County Sheriff...
Don O'Neill

Why you could hear kids’ voices on Pierce County Sheriff radios Monday night

Sometimes, "gone but not forgotten" isn't always how slain officers are remembered. But in Pierce County, a special effort is being made to commemorate a fallen deputy.
3 years ago

Sponsored Articles


Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Heart Gallery at Crossroads Mall is high (school) art