Students from Herndon High School and Herndon Middle School will be featured at Greater Reston Art Center’s upcoming exhibition, "Emerging Visions: Adolescent Self-Portraiture." The exhibition takes place from Feb. 29 to March 28.
"It is kind of cool that there is interest of that level in what we do," said Herndon High School senior Josh Hamilton. Hamilton and classmates Clare Sampson, Victoria Lanaras and Marshall Vaughn deviated from the norm in creating a self-portrait by not depicting a face in their sculpture of a body. Instead of a head, flowers spring from the plaster body they created. Lanaras said the flowers represent the students, all of them seniors looking forward to college, growing into adulthood.
The body sculpture has already been accepted for the upcoming exhibition, as has the light bulbs sculpture made in the same Herndon High School classroom. Amanda Hughes, Emily Jones and Lily Burken each decorated their own light bulbs — individual self-portraits — before putting all of them together into a single sculpture. "All of our ideas mashed together," said Jones of the sculpture.
Eliana Reyes and Sarah Kohlhepp, seniors in a Herndon High School Advanced Placement Art class, said they had both exhibited art in other galleries before. However, they said it was nice to have an opportunity to exhibit at GRACE. "It’s always nice to be in the community," said Kohlhepp. "It feels you are beautifying the community," said Reyes.
Herndon Middle School students are also vying for exhibition space at GRACE. Art teacher Claire Simanski said the exhibition will display the creativity her students are capable of transferring to their artwork. "First of all, it shows that the community believes in its future," said Simanski of the exhibition. She said art students are creative thinkers and could contribute to finding creative solutions to future’s problems that could be difficult to resolve. "This gives them a head start. It shows the community is supporting them," she said.
One of her seventh graders, Ahnaf Hassan, is hoping his self-portrait set in a mythical world could be displayed at GRACE. Simanski said Hassan has "a real vision," and is constantly depicting mythological and fairy tale scenes.
"I like to see something that’s not in this world," said Hassan of the reasons mythology stimulates his creativity.
Out of this world is also the piece classmate Nicholas Botz is hoping to display at GRACE. Botz drew a self-portrait depicting him as the king of monsters. "I like to draw monsters, then I thought, why not put monsters in" the self-portrait, said Botz. "Then I thought, why not be the king of monsters."