Behind the Scenes: Aces in the Alley

By Tudsaley Vongsena

“Enter the Dragon,” by Kim Pham, is just one of the many pieces of art which will be on sale during Friday’s event.

Aces in the Alley is an event featuring and selling the artwork of many East High student artists, including those in the National Art Honor Society, Feminist club, the GSA, Spanish Honor Society, Clay club, Eco club, and Pop Culture and Art club. The event, coordinated by the Downtown Wichita Development Corporation and the National Art Honor Society, will take place in Gallery Alley (616 E. Douglas), Oct. 20, 6–8 p.m.

“In a recent department chair meeting, the Downtown Development Corporation took us to the Pop-Up Park and then Gallery Alley,” Shelly Salley, art instructor, said. “Mr. Crawford was there with me, and we looked at each other and said, ‘Hey, this is really cool,’ and started coordinating an event there to connect East High to the community.”

Members of National Art Honor Society Madeline Hoang, jr., and Lylie Lam, sr., make buttons by using words and backgrounds from old magazines. NAHS will sell the buttons and offer customers the opportunity to make their own as well. Photo by Shelly Salley.

Gallery Alley is an alleyway transformed by Downtown Wichita as part of revitalization efforts; the alley was turned into a public space where pedestrians can enjoy local artwork and music. The Pop-up Park (121 E. Douglas) is part of the same revitalization effort and is a public space where artwork is displayed.

Salley and Crawford decided it was the perfect place to showcase the artistic talent of East High.

“It is a way for us celebrate the things that we have in our talents,” Salley said. “It is a way for us to get it out there and a way for us to support local artists and the ICT movement.”

Diana Nguyen, jr., is a member of the National Art Honor Society and plans to sell some artwork during the event.

“I have two or three scans of traditional pieces that I’ve done,” Nguyen said. “I have an acrylic painting and a charcoal drawing and also a digital piece that I’ve been working on since the summer that I’ve just finished up.”

“Nevermore,” by Sam Hutchinson, drew inspiration from Edgar Allen Poe’s eerie poem, “The Raven.”

In addition, local musicians and entertainers will perform.

”East High performers from Tri-M, the Lion Dance club, and the Chinese Yo-yo club will perform,” Salley said. “We have a local rapper performing there too. He is called XenoFlows. [The event] is a way for them to also put their performance art out on display for people to see.”

With both the art and performances, one of the top objectives is to get more involved with the community.

“We have so much diversity and talent here at East High School, and we do a lot here in the East High building,” Salley said. “But getting out into the community and having that community enjoy what we have here is, in my opinion, really important.”

The event is free to attend, and no entrance fees apply.