Judging by the creativity on display at the 20th annual Juried Student Exhibit at the Regional Arts Center, Texarkana should be proud of the artistic talents developed by area students.
More than 100 pieces are included in the show, mostly from high school artists. Participating high schools include both Arkansas and Texas, Hooks, Liberty-Eylau and Pleasant Grove. Middle school entries include Liberty-Eylau and Texas, plus three self-submitted entries from local students.
“There’s some realism, there’s some abstract, there’s some mixed media, photography, painting, drawing, sculpture—the whole gamut,” said Bryan Phillips, community programs and outreach director for the Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council. “There’s some really really cool stuff.”
One award winner was Celeste Dart’s inventive and colorful mixed-media work, “My Mother’s Garden,” which incorporates frames, wood, a string mesh and sculptural additions that appear to be flowers. On those flowers are images of things like a potting bowl and a dandelion.
“I don’t know if it’s found objects or what, but they made it come together just beautifully,” Phillips said.
Another ingenious piece, titled “Life Lines,” is a group project from fine arts teacher Christy Adair’s Art I students at Texas High.
Students created their own “life line” made of yarn and other elements. Those “life lines” hang down together from a picture frame and chicken wire top, colors intermingling and playing off each other.
This piece, like “My Mother’s Garden,” is a vibrant work that invites closer inspection and enjoyment.
“Each one of these is done by an individual student,” Phillips said while pointing to different “life lines,” calling the overall work “a really interesting and beautiful thing.”
Scotland Stout, associate professor of art at Southern Arkansas University, served as juror for the show. In his juror statement, he praised the student work.
“The overall levels of skill in both the craftsmanship and the concept of the paintings, drawings, and mixed medium pieces are excellent: it has been a real pleasure to see work by the artists I will soon be working among,” Stout wrote.
Among the particular things he praised were the complexity found in mixed-media pieces and the ability of artists to move composition past “classroom still life” and into “the realm of telling a story,” he said.
He shared encouraging words for all of the student artists who participated. “Remember: you are writing a visual story that only you can tell,” he wrote.
Here are this year’s award winners:
Megan Thigpen’s “The Cat’s Meow” won Best of Show. Andrew Williams’ “Relaxing” won first place. Anne Marie Hilborn’s “Untitled” won second place. Alex Smith’s “Not Quite Right” won third place. Veronica McIlveen’s “Salete” won the Merit Award. Honorable mentions went to Celeste Dart’s “My Mother’s Garden” and Ashlyn Vik’s “Peppermint.”
Paige Copeland’s “Madison Danielle Stewart” won Best of Show. April Martin’s “Bob the Bass” won first place. Brandy Coulter’s “Bamboo” won second place. Addison Rogers’ “Shadows of Color” won third place. Jeremiah O’Brien’s “Two-Faced” won the Merit Award. Honorable mentions went to Rodney Givens’ “Self-Portrait” and Lyndsey Risinger’s “Bubbles.”
Phillips said middle school entries were down to only 25 to 30 total works this year because of tight budgets in the school.
The show runs through June 16.
(Admission is free. The Regional Arts Center is located at 321 W. 4th St. More info: 903-792-8681 or TRAHC.org.)
SOURCE: Texarkana Gazette, 05/25/12