Sunday, March 22, 2015

Local high school artists recognized at Portland Museum of Art for Youth Art Month - By Michelle Libby

Holden Willard, a sophomore at Windham High School from Raymond, had a piece of his art work from a drawing 1 class selected to be displayed at the Portland Museum of Art for the 21st Annual Youth Art Month.
“The project was based on a unit where the students were studying perspective. Holden was chosen based on his skill and understanding of the subject matter and his creative talents as an artist,” said Willard’s art teacher Kim Chasse. His art work is titled “Apocalyptic Sunrise.” (It’s hanging in the PMA Lobby near the elevators.)

Approximately 100 pieces of art work in grades kindergarten to 12th from all over Maine were submitted for nomination. 
The exhibition, sponsored by the Maine Art Education Association (MAEA) in partnership with the Portland Museum of Art, provides a forum for acknowledging the imagination, innovation, and creative skills that a visual arts experience can nurture. Youth Art Month, observed annually in March, emphasizes the value of art education for all youth and encourages support for quality school art programs, according to a press release from the museum. Not limited to students in southern Maine, last year’s exhibition represented 119 students from 11 counties in Maine.

Abigail Connor, a junior at Windham High School, was also selected for the program. She is enrolled in Advanced Studio Art with teacher Jeff Bell.

Abigail's artwork is part of a series of drawings that represent a collaboration with a friend who writes the stories that inspire her characters. Her drawings are digitally rendered using a drawing tablet connected to her laptop. Bell said that he “recognized the skillful and fluid quality of Abigail's drawings and feels that she brings these characters to life with sensitivity and great expression.”
“This drawing is a portrayal of a young student standing before her teacher, a forbidding authority figure who hands her a book and demands that she ‘Learn’,” said Bell. This fall, Abigail will be enrolling in Advanced Placement Studio Art where she will continue to build her already impressive portfolio of work, he added.

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