Students from preschool to high school put their best artwork forward at Frost Middle School on Thursday, Jan. 19. The art show, which filled the auditorium, hall and several classrooms, incorporated many schools from the W.T. Woodson High School pyramid.
Alexandra Arocha, W.T. Woodson High School
In her painting of a vase of roses, Alexandra Arocha emphasizes the unexpected. The petals of the red roses have streaks of blue in them, and the painting looks down into the vase rather than straight at it.
"If you really look at something, you notice colors that other people won’t notice," said Alexandra, a 17-year-old senior at W.T. Woodson High School. "I just emphasize them." The painting is the first in a series of concentration pieces for an Advanced Placement art class said Arocha. AP art classes require 24 pieces of art by the end of the year, with 12 of those pieces unified by a common theme.
For her concentration pieces, Alexandra chose to paint a series of still life paintings. She tried to capture the images from different angles, she said, blurring the line between observation and invention. She always uses a thick medium for the subject of the still life itself, she said, but applies a watered-down paint, or wash, for the shadow in the painting.
"I just had fun," she said of her work. When she graduates, Alexandra plans to study to become an art teacher.
Christian Klopfer, W.T. Woodson High School
Christian Klopfer’s friends all agree that he is a fun-loving person. That is the feeling he wants to evoke in his entry in the Frost art show: a series of paintings of himself sneezing.
"For me, it’s always been, what way can I put my personality onto a canvas or a piece of paper?" said Klopfer, 18 and a Woodson senior. Sneezes are under-represented as subjects of paintings, he said, which is one of the reasons he chose to paint one.
The first painting is acrylic on plywood, and the second two are acrylic on cardboard. Capturing a picture of a sneeze to paint from was tricky, said Klopfer. He tried for a while to walk around with a camera on him, but after several failed attempts, simply recreated himself what a typical sneeze would look like.
The typical reaction to the sneeze paintings is a smile or a laugh, he said, exactly the effect he is going for.
"It was a lot of fun to do," said Klopfer. "That’s the most important thing."
Sarah Wilson, W.T. Woodson High School
Sarah Wilson naturally chose sleeping figures as the subject of her AP Art class concentration pieces.
"My mom tells me I sleep too much," said the 17-year-old senior, whose entry into the Frost art show was a large acrylic painting of classmate Klopfer asleep in a sunny room. Sarah agreed with Klopfer’s view that a painting should be infused with the personality of the artist. Sleeping figures reveal a lot about people and their unconscious emotions, she said.
"This is when people are at their most vulnerable," said Sarah. "I wanted to capture that."
Sarah is still working on her technique, she said, learning how to work with large canvases like the one in the art show. By making a figure larger than life, she said, an oversized canvas lends more intimacy to the painting. It also allows for Sarah to focus on the light hitting the subject’s face and body, which she particularly likes.
The background of the painting, which is set at school, is purposely ambiguous and institutional.
"People sleep everywhere," said Sarah.
Rachel Hill, Wakefield Forest Elementary School
Rachel Hill, 10, imagined herself as an ancient Egyptian for her entry into the Frost art show. Janet Rust, Rachel’s fifth-grade art teacher at Wakefield Forest Elementary School, had the class draw an image of themselves as an ancient Egyptian. Using a doll dressed as an ancient Egyptian, Rachel drew a young Egyptian woman with a snake and duck headdress and a colorful collar. In the upper left hand corner, she drew her name in hieroglyphics.
"I like using my imagination," said Rachel. Her favorite part of the piece is the face. The face looks happy, she said. However, said Rachel, the strange clothing and frequent wars in ancient Egypt make her glad she lives in 21st century America.
Nina Lucas, Little Run Elementary School
If it works properly, the sculpture Nina Lucas entered into the Frost art show will help her avoid some of her chores from now on. For her third-grade class at Little Run Elementary School, Nina made an ushabti, an ancient Egyptian figure that is supposed to perform work for its owner.
"You’re supposed to put something you don’t like to do on it," said Nina. "I don’t like raking leaves."
The students in Michael Corigliano's art class nicknamed the figurines "Who’s your buddies," said Nina. Her favorite part was carving designs into the clay, she said. She wrote her name in hieroglyphics on the figure and decorated her ushabti with maple-colored paint.
Nina enjoys art class because it gives her a chance to explore different mediums. "I don’t get to paint that much," she said. "I like to play with clay a lot."
Reid Penzler, Little Run Elementary School
Students in Reid Penzler’s fourth grade art class are gradually learning the different aspects of sculpting and pottery. When Reid, 10, made the blue coil pot he entered into the Frost art show, he learned about the process of glazing and firing pottery. Soon, he said, he will learn how to use a potter’s wheel. His favorite part of making the pot, however, was finishing it.
Sculpture is one of Reid’s favorite parts of art class, he said, although he also likes learning about colonial architecture.
"You can express your feelings in [art]," said Reid. "If you’re happy, then you draw a smiley face."
Joyce Kim, Little Run Elementary School
When Joyce Kim first began work on the textile piece she entered in to the Frost art show, she had to ask Corigliano a lot of questions to make sure she got it right. Fifth-grader Joyce, who has completed a weaving project before, got to experiment with more advanced designs and colors this time around. Her piece features triangular stripes of white and pink, her favorite color.
Art is a way for Joyce, 10, to communicate her personality. "If I’m not taking drawing then I’m doing a lot of things, being creative," she said. "There are no right or wrong answers in art."
Joyce especially enjoys weaving, she said. She plans to make more pieces like the one in the art show to give as gifts to her family and friends.
John Stovall, Frost Middle School
Frost Middle School seventh-grader John Stovall took about a week and a half to complete his pencil still-life for his school’s art show. A good drawing, he said, shows depth and shadow as well as shapes and figures.
"I think that most people, when they think of drawing, they think of cartoons and stuff," said John, 12. "But it’s a little more than that."
The drawing on display at the art show was taken from life, said John. He will sketch from life when he has to, but prefers drawing scenes and figures he sees in his imagination. He particularly enjoys creating landscapes people do not see every day, like mountains or flatlands.
"You have to try [art] because you can do something you don’t normally do," he said. "You can draw what you feel."