Last updated: May 08. 2014 2:55PM - 585 Views
By Marilyn Delk

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Time is fleeting! The Annual Darke County High School Art Show at the Anna Bier Gallery ends Saturday, May 17, so hurry on over to Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall (where the Gallery is located.) You will be filled with hope for the future as well as joy in the present inspired by the creativity and beauty on display.

Portraits abound in the impressive exhibit, and the people depicted are as diverse as the techniques and media used to create the likenesses. Fidel Cruz’s dramatic collage uses a variety of sepia -tinted photographs to underly a cutout image of his face; this piece earned “Best of Show,” with the judge noting the artist’s skillful use of monotone values.

Quincy Baltes has painted a somewhat impressionistic picture of a thoughtful girl with a puckish expression, a strand of hair falling across her pretty face. Katelyn Ernst illustrates varying color values in her portrait showing four images of the same vulnerable young face in shades of turquoise blues, burgundy pinks, violets and jade greens.

An entirely different pencil and acrylic drawing by Lydia Rinderle shows a lovely girl with almond-shaped eyes, her neck encased in futuristic garb, her hands raised in a striking pose. Kaci Lawrence’s portrait showing two views of the same person displaying totally different emotions captures attention and raises questions, as does Josie Bowlin’s colorful “Me, Myself, and Not You,” another dual portrait.

Portraits of some famous people are on display, including an instantly recognizable Will Smith drawn by Bryant Fox and Quincy Baltes’ well-done evocation of Brad Pitt. Mikaela Sharp has creatively re-created comic book character Catwoman in a distinctive vertical triptych using a plethora of color.

Susan Boston’s watercolor of a mother and child displays a strong understanding of the medium as it depicts a tender bond between her subjects. Desiree Morgan uses minimal strokes to create her drawing of a girl singer holding a microphone at a rakish angle; the same spare technique is utilized by Tyler Jenkinson in his “Rainy Day,” its apparent simplicity somehow raising questions and demanding closer scrutiny.

Several animal portraits are also included in the show. A magnificent stag at sunset gloriously stands against the orange, coral, and yellow sky in a painting by Lauren Shuttleworth. The realistically depicted canine subject of “Blue-Eyed Beauty,” Lessie Cable’s impactful closeup of a friendly furry dog’s face, also displays a brown eye, a genetic trait common to some breeds. Michelle Fannin’s intriguingly asymmetrical big cat has one yellow eye warily staring at the viewer, while two wise eyes stare out from Megan Jones’ scratch art owl, its well-defined face and realistically limned feathers somehow assuming a three-dimensional effect.

Olivia Quellhorst has designed a delightful, brilliantly colorful parrot from pop can pull tabs; Zoe Stiefel’s charming batik octopus shows a gracefully swirling orange form moving across an ocean blue background. Stephanie Herron has produced three pictures of whimsically seductive mythical animal figures that entice the eye. Brook Dunlevy evokes a sense of fun with her friendly giraffe face in shades of grey and black before a background of orange giraffe spots; Morgan Nolan’s picture of a guilty-faced dog in front of multi-colored paw marks littering the white background has the same effect, earning smiles from viewers.

Emilia Brown’s collage uses ancient, modernistic, and fantastic buildings as well as liberal references to Salvador Dali to construct a surrealistic landscape that is inviting and fun to explore. Breanna Tuthill achieves a totally different effect with her pencil drawing featuring the charming angles and curves of an old wooden shed with cupolas askew standing amid overgrown grass.

And that isn’t all! A record number of excellent works were chosen for this show displaying the artistic abilities of our community’s youth representing the high school art classes at Ansonia, Arcanum, Bradford, Franklin-Monroe, Greenville, Mississinawa Valley, and Versailles Schools. Come see it; you’ll be glad you did.

The Anna Bier Gallery is open Saturdays from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., and prior to performances at the Hall. To view the art at other times or to arrange a tour, contact Gallery Director Marcia Weidner at 417-3497.

Marilyn Delk is a Director of the Darke County Center for the Arts and can be reached at marilynd@bright.net. Viewpoints expressed in these opinion pieces are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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