Bright colors and carefully crafted details tease onlookers with stories of fantasy and reality at the Youth Art Exhibition. The exhibition is an annual tradition in recognizing artwork by students at Cooper and Longfellow Middle School, and Langley and McLean High School. With support from the Women’s Club of McLean, the McLean Project for the Arts (MPA) has created a temporary home for over several hundred pieces of artwork. Ranging in type, the exhibition features sculptures, acrylic paintings, photography and much more. The Thursday, March 21, reception saw large crowd of eager observers.
Many of the Longfellow Middle School students showcased their talents through detailed depictions of plant life. Under the guidance of art teacher Delores Wimberly, students chose subjects in the school’s Rain Garden for inspiration. Using these subjects, they learned fundamental themes including, “line, shape, texture, form and color,” said Sharon Fishel, ArtReach director with MPA. Fishel and Wimberly collaborate to instruct students on the nuances of creating detailed artwork. It is a combined approach of artistic and scientific observation, providing a platform for students to examine plant life cycles and explore their creativity.
Individualism and personal stories were commonly explored themes in works by the high school students. Raina Amirghaffari described anorexia as a theme that characterizes one of her works. She states that the work shows a contrast between nourishment and malnourishment, evidenced by the contrast between light and dark and represented by intricately detailed thick and thin tree branches. Using a technique called stippling, the final work took 11 hours to complete.
The Youth Art Exhibition is open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. until April 6, 2013, at the McLean Project for the Arts, at 1234 Ingleside Ave. in McLean.