New Year, New Planner Cover

The Artist Behind the 2017-2018 Student Planner Cover Design


Jemma Lasswell

Valerie Dou ’19, with her winning planner design for 2017-2018.

Each year, Ms. Asch, Bronx Science’s art teacher, hands out a blank sheet of paper to her art students with a special challenge, to design the next cover of the Bronx Science planner. This year, the watercolor cityscape that was chosen to grace our 2017-2018 planner cover is the work of one student artist, Valerie Dou ’19.

The prospect of designing such a well-known piece of artwork is daunting; on the first day of school, every Bronx Science student is given a copy of the planner, which contains all of Bronx Science’s rules and regulations as well as a planning calendar to help students to be organized and to keep on top of their schoolwork. Valerie Dou was up for the task, however, quickly swapping the basic paper given to her by Ms. Asch for special watercolor paper to suit the medium that she had in mind.

“I’m interested in majoring in architecture, so I was thinking along those lines when drafting my ideas for the planner cover.”

Valerie turned to one of her passions for inspiration. “I’m interested in majoring in architecture, so I was thinking along those lines when drafting my ideas for the planner cover. Ms. Asch proposed the idea of researching buildings here in New York City. I took her advice,” Dou said.

Each one of the buildings rendered on the cover has a unique connection to Bronx Science. The tallest building featured, the One World Trade Center, was planned by architect and Bronx Science alumnus Daniel Libeskind ’65. El Dorado, the two towers shown on the left of the planner, was designed by Emery Roth, the architect of the current Bronx Science building, built in 1958. Moreover, The Hayden Planetarium, directed by Neil Degrasse Tyson, a Bronx Science alumnus from the Class of ’76, was also painted into the design.

Valerie’s love of art extends beyond just the planner cover. She enjoys drawing and painting in many mediums, and spends hours honing her skills outside of school. She has also involved herself with other arts at Bronx Science, through Ms. Asch’s Studio in Art class and the S.O.’s Leave Your Mark Initiative, which features student art work throughout the halls.

Replacement copies of the 2017-2018 planner are available for $5.45 from the school store, here