First Posted: 4/28/2009
A trip to an art gallery requires only a visit to Mount Airy High School this week as the schools art students have their work on display.
In three rooms on the second floor of the old junior high building, art students at all levels have showcased the pieces they have worked on throughout the year. The students taking advanced placement art have their portfolios on display which they must submit as part of the class.
The art show provides an opportunity for the students to display what they have accomplished to the community, their families and other art students who see bits and pieces of the work during the year.
Its good for the community to recognize the talent and for the students to realize what they are doing is important and is appreciated, said Keenia Beck, art teacher.
We do so many pieces, its such a nice way to see the culmination of things, said Christine Beamer, art student. You can look at the art from the lower levels and remember where you came from and look at the more advanced pieces to see what you can aspire to.
Beck tries to allow as much freedom as possible for the students to be able to express themselves. They all tackle different issues in their pieces, some relying on personal experiences to fuel their work with others picking a concentration and trying to create different pieces all revolving around the same topic.
One of the things Im most proud of is theyre able to develop individuality and their own style. Everythings really, really unique, said Beck of the work on display.
From making insignificant aspects seem significant to putting a dark twist on child-like images, even self-portraits, the high school art show displays it all.
The students also used a number of different mediums to achieve their desired effects. Some students have their favorite mediums to work with as their artwork will reflect. Others, however, prefer to let the piece dictate the medium.
Each piece requires something different, said Beamer. I dont really have a favorite.
I like batik probably because Im really good at it, said Jake Pack, art student. Ive really been developing that technique.
Im mostly interested in photography, but I also work in colored pencils and oil painting, said Simona Gizdarski, art student.
For the students, art provides an outlet for their emotions and experiences. They also feel that the high school, and Beck in particular, provide them with what they need to become the best artists they can.
Its something that words simply cannot describe, said Gizdarski of art. We have one of the best art teachers in the whole state in my opinion. If you want to try art, Mount Airy High School is the place to do it because you have all the freedom you need.
Its always been something Ive loved since I was little. It helps me express myself, Im really into performing and visual arts, said Mary Alyce McCullough, who also takes dance. For a small high school, our art program is fantastic. I cant say enough good things about Mrs. Beck.
When I started out, I never really had an interest, said Pack. As I developed my skill, its become sort of a therapy.
Some of the students have even decided to pursue art when they enter college in the fall. Beamer plans to major in art at UNC-Charlotte after six semesters of art in high school. McCullough plans to attend Wake Forest University and double major in biology and art.
The students work will be on display from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday on the second floor of the old junior high building on the Mount Airy High School campus.
Contact Morgan Wall at [email protected] or 719-1929.