M-PHS honors its artists
August 28, 2008 · Updated 4:26 PM
Art students at Marysville-Pilchuck High School shared a year's worth of talent at M-PHS May 20 - 22, when a three-day exhibit featured the talent of the school's many art students.
Family portraits, self portraits and pet portraits, landscapes and still lifes in many different media, from pencil and charcoal to mosaics and ceramics, the exhibit included works from studio art and portfolio classes taught by Karen Epperson, ceramics by students of Debbie McCoy and crafts by Beth Young's classes.
The studio artists of Epperson's classes explored a range of drawing and painting. They studied portraiture using pencil or charcoal. They learned different styles of painting by studying the work of masters such as Van Gogh, Cezanne, Manet and others. They learned to use watercolor paints, oil pastels and wood block printing to express what they see and value in the world. They learned about values by doing value studies and the Art Portfolio students worked on two major categories, a narrow focus, or theme, and a broad overview, or body of work.
A junior who just finished her first Art Portfolio class, Trinda Berlin said she chose rainbows as her theme, because she loves bright colors.
"I love rainbows," she said. "I wear the colors on belts and socks all the time." She said she got the idea of using rainbows as her theme when she was painting a still life of a bowl of fruit.
"See the shaded area, when I started blending the colors it turned into a rainbow and that's when I decided to focus on that."
The rainbow theme appeared in the form of colored pencils, old hippies with tie-dye shirts, lolly pops, and a self portrait of her own face peaking out from her rainbow colored scarf and hat.
Berlin said she was most impressed by the work of her fellow student, Erica Hylback, who's chosen focus was on homeless people and who also painted many versions of the Buddha.
"Look at these portraits. She took a photo of this guy on the street. I think she gave them some money to take their pictures," Berlin said about Hylback's body of work.
"We all did the fruit bowl and see how different they turned out," Berlin noted.
Chelsea Mueller, a ninth- grader who just finished Studio Art I, said she enjoyed looking at the drawings best.
"I think it's great to see everybody's artwork," Mueller said.
"It's interesting to see all the details," she added.
Another ninth-grader, Odessa Christman also enjoyed the drawings best.
"It's amazing to see all the different talent," she said.
Both of the young artists, who plan to take more art in their future years in high school, were fulfilling another art project by filling out a questionnaire on the art show.
"It's a good way to get them to really look at the stuff," Epperson said.
Prizes were awarded in each media and subject area, judged by teachers who teach other subjects than art, according to Epperson.
"We get other teachers to come and work in small groups of two or three," Epperson explained. "They don't know a lot about art, but they are more objective than me and the other art teachers."
Epperson admitted that it's very difficult to be objective about art. It's one of those facts of life: People like art that portrays the things they care about, the colors they like, the world they relate to.
"They may not be knowledgeable about technique, but they are more objective about each student."
Epperson said midway into the festival that she was a bit tired, but that everything was going well.
"These kids never cease to amaze me," she said. "They wait and wait and wait until the last minute and then they whip out amazing things. Just imagine what they could do if they worked at it over time."
Along with paintings and drawings, the exhibit also included graphic design projects, including finished hand-made books, caricatures and cartoons and a variety of crafts.
The crafts students of teacher Beth Young learned about different cultures through projects like the Spanish pinatas and pineneedle baskets. They did glass mosaic paving stones, and they learned to crochet, making scarves and hats, among other items. The art show was open to students and the public May 20 - 22.