Blue Review: 2021 Issue Available

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

In a constantly evolving and draining school year, putting together a review of inspired and impactful art and writing is no easy feat. However, in a spirit determined not to break an issuance streak, the art and literary staff of the Blue Review has done just that. The recently completed book, which features a hand-curated collection of outstanding student work, ties in the confusing and difficult-to-navigate experience of learning during a pandemic with its overarching motif of mazes. Copies of Blue Review will be on sale in the School Stor this fall. 

“Our theme of mazes is well suited for a period in which we’ve experienced both disorientation and encouraging signposts for a path forward. The theme is carried interestingly throughout the book, which features strong art and literary pairings,” notes Michele Poacelli P ’24, English faculty and Blue Review literary adviser. “I believe this striking work documents an extraordinary year and Mercersburg’s resilience throughout it.” 

The production of the book, which usually spans the entire school year, was completed almost entirely in the spring term.

“This year was the most challenging year of Blue Review in my time here,” reflects Jay Howley ’21, art co-editor-in-chief. “Going virtual for the winter created almost a complete vacuum of visual arts, and we had to really seek out individuals and hustle for artwork and submissions.” 

Although faced with unpredictable challenges, advisers Poacelli and Kristen Pixler, arts faculty, had faith in the managing staff and editors.

“Our editors Jay Howley ’21, Ryan Bland ’21, and Lian Wang ’21 are true professionals and have become experts in their individual areas. Their guidance and dedication to the publication pulled the team through,” says Pixler. The team, a mix of seniors and brand new members, worked and learned from each other to not only prepare the 2021 issue, but to create foundations for future publications. 

“Also, Blue Review is the best publication on campus,” says Howley. “I’ll die on that hill. We’re really cool.”

Columbia Scholastic Press critiques Blue Review each year. The publication is judged in three separate competitions: the Medal critique, which reviews the book based on specific criteria of a publication; the Circle awards, which look at specific single categories, such as cover design and individual student awards; and the Crown awards, which examine at the overall quality of the publication. Last year’s publication received a gold medal in the Medal Critique and the 2018 publication received a Gold Medal Critique and a Silver Crown Award.

Yearbook also available: The 2021 edition of the Karux (Mercersburg’s yearbook) is on sale online through the Mercersburg Online Store. Members of the senior class (and any other students) who did not purchase a copy before leaving campus can do so at this link. This year's co-editors-in-chief were Caroline Dillard ’21 and Bryce Mitchell ’21.