High school showcases art students

By Page H. Gifford

The 2023 annual art show at the high school featured some talented young people from 8-12th grade. There were 28 categories, among them were the traditional categories of art including clay, photography, paper mache, collage, pastel, and watercolor. What was missing from the traditional forms of art were acrylics and oils though tempera and egg tempera were featured. Graphic arts and illustration were also missing as individual categories but were represented by digital art and photography.

With the influence of the digital age art has been moving in new directions and students are learning how to manipulate, create, and design with computers. These students generated out-of-the-box ideas, forming pieces that were thought-provoking, colorful and fun.

Those with the highest accolades showed off their skill in flawless execution and use of color and shape. Colored pencil, a medium that requires diligence and patience to master it, was well represented. All three top students in the colored pencil category – Taylor Peck, Liam Wells, and Kathy Hance – nailed it with their rich, colorful, drawings.

Another category the students were strong in was people in digital art. Each of the winners was varied in their style and execution. Anastasiia Pupyrina’s portrait of a woman was exotic and offbeat while third-place winner Malachi Jackson’s portrait was contemporary and had an impact, using stark vibrant color to create his image on a black background.

Samantha Carter is a talent to watch. She won second for people in the digital art category but got first in the category of oil pastels for her amazing herd of zebras. 

Many of the 3-D artworks were eclectic and abstract and those who created yarn pieces showed clean even work with expressive style such as the piece by Mackenzi Baty who had a grasp on macrame with a ‘70s vibe.

Teachers Michele Coleman, Amanda Clements, and Michael Morris voted for their top three picks. Coleman’s pick was Nona Fry’s still life. Fry arranged them well and had a soft ghostly look to her piece. Clement’s pick was Evelyn DeMers’ mixed media. Her drawing featured a pair of strong white hands towering over a colorful dancing skeleton. Both subjects were not easy, but DeMers execution was flawless. Morris’ pick was John Smed’s photo of a flower. The lighting and detail were perfect. Celia Bowles took Best in Show for her charcoal portrait of Marilyn Monroe in her last days.

It’s a delightful surprise every year to see what these young creative minds come up with and there is hope they will continue to pursue art into their adult years.

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