ARTISTIC ACHIEVEMENTS: Student artwork takes center stage at county-wide exhibit – The Daily Reporter

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CHARLOTTESVILLE — Student artists still bask in the glow of seeing their works on display at the 35th annual Hancock County Art Show at Eastern Hancock High School last week.

The show — April 21-22 in the high school gymnasium — featured a wide variety of artwork by students of all grades, from Hancock County’s four school systems.

“We had a standout exhibit Thursday and Friday night,” said Amanda Graupner, an East Hancock art teacher who helped coordinate the rotating exhibit, which is held at a different county high school each year. .

Eastern Hancock teacher Cathleen Huffman stopped by Thursday night to demonstrate watercolor painting while the Eastern Hancock band stopped by to play jazz music during Friday’s show.

Each year, county art teachers donate artwork and art supplies to be raffled off or bid on at a silent auction, with the money raised going to a selected outstanding senior in each high school.

Over $500 was raised this year, which will be used to purchase art supply gift cards for selected students: Serena Masters of Eastern Hancock; Brenna Bonek of Greenfield-Central; Taylor Law of Mount Vernon; and co-winners Nikole Akers and Kaci Ellison from New Palestine.

Eastern Hancock winner Serena Masters has been taking art classes since sixth grade and plans to study art therapy in college this fall.

Greenfield-Central winner Brenna Bonek also plans to study art in college this fall — majoring in painting and minoring in art history at Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Utah. Georgia.

She hopes the recognition of top seniors within her school will help pave the way for some scholarships this year.

“I feel like with art it’s sometimes hard to assess or quantify your work and how accomplished you are, so I think that’s a really good way to show how I worked hard,” said Brenna, 18, who took art classes. all four years of high school.

Last week she had five or six pieces in the county art show, including her favorite, an expressive ink drawing of two creatures fighting and holding hands.

“It’s one of my favorites, and a lot of my friends love it too. It’s about learning to know yourself and fight with yourself, but you can also learn to love yourself,” said Brenna, who focuses on oil painting but also does art. acrylic, photography and collages.

Greenfield-Central sophomores Hannah Short and Madi Succaw said it was a pleasure to see their work displayed at the fair.

“It’s really nice to go to the fair and see your work appreciated,” said Hannah, 15, who had four works of art in this year’s exhibition, including a piece of pottery with inlaid glass. .

Madi, 16, agreed.

“The art exhibit is a great way to recognize a group of students who don’t normally get much recognition,” said Madi, who had three pieces in this year’s exhibit.

“Learning about art in school is a great opportunity for a lot of kids to be creative and express themselves in different ways other than sports and academics,” she said.

Graupner said more than 70 middle and high school students from Eastern Hancock took part in the show last week, and nearly every elementary school student had art in the show.

Jeff Weiland, who has taught art at Greenfield-Central High School for 32 years, considers himself lucky to be one of 22 art teachers at Hancock County Schools.

He looks forward to the county-wide art exhibition every year.

“It’s a great opportunity for students and for teachers to be able to show what their students have been doing throughout the year,” he said.

“There is a lot of publicity and support for sports and many other school activities, but this show is an opportunity for us to recognize these children with artistic talents,” said the longtime educator, delighted to see so many people. participate in this year’s show.

While students like Serena and Brenna are ready to take their art pursuits to new heights in college, lower-grade students are likely already planning the types of projects they’ll showcase at the art exhibit at county-wide next spring, when hosted by Southern Hancock County Community School Corp.

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