Although full performances were slated for Saturday April 30, including a play written and performed by students, the Friday night provided skits from the play as well as ample opportunity for friends, family and other members of the public to look over art works posted gallery-like throughout the gym.
The festival featured four components including drama, music, art and dance under the direction of its arts, music and English staff - each of whom bring to the program a slightly different view and background. Brother Bob Warren, who helped students at the festival raise their voices in coral song, teaches coral music and graphic design at Marist. He has a Master of Arts from the University of Dallas.
Caroline John, chair person of the arts department who has a bachelor of arts from the College of New Jersey, featured prominently in the arts and graphic design aspects of the festival.
Wayne Pratko, chair of the English Department, worked with the student in developing the play and in performing it. Pratko has a bachelor of arts degree from New York University.
The play continued a theme from last year's festival, which depicts the changes that occur in people with the phases of the moon.
Most of the art work evolved out of class work, reflecting student visions on a variety of topics and themes.
Many of these works came out of studio arts classes and other art and graphic design programs.
"We have been pushing the arts," John said. "People need it and want it, so that we have been giving them more."
Marist High School, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, opened its doors in 1954 at a campus located on 8th Street in Bayonne. In 1964, the school relocated to its current more modern 35- classroom building on Kennedy Boulevard near 60th Street.
Although arts programs have been on the increase over the last decade, said John, chairwoman of the school's fine arts department, the festival is relatively new generated out of the need to showcase student talent for a larger audience.
"I've been here nine years and the programs have grown," John said. "As the programs expanded, we needed a way to show it off. This festival came about as a result of that." The foundation of arts at Marist, she said, has resulted in some students seeking careers in created fields.
"Some students have come back after they graduated to talk about their careers," she said. She said students have expressed diverse interests that were keenly reflected in the variety of arts the festival offered.