student Darcy Hennessy,
standing below several of her photos.
of students work at art show
When Yellow Springs High School students get a day off, a few come to
school anyway. One of these is Darcy Hennessy, who takes the opportunity
to spend a long stretch of time in the schools darkroom. Its
hard, said Hennessy, who wants to be a photojournalist, to develop photos
in the regular 45-minute class period, and besides, she said, theres
few places shed rather be.
The results of Hennessys creative efforts, as well as those of about
40 other local young people, are currently on exhibit at the Bryan Community
Center in the annual YSHS Student Art Show. The exhibit, which features
fine art, photography, video and computer graphics, is on display through
One thing thats amazing is that I never get tired of looking
at their work, said YSHS video and photography teacher Melina Elum,
whos taught at the school for nine years. Its never
the same. Theres always something fresh and original.
Originality of vision abounds in the exhibits photos, as does the
students ability to find beauty in ordinary, unexpected places.
In Wheels of Time, a photograph by Kayla Graham, bicycle wheels
become new and mysterious, while Maggie Krabec finds symmetry and grace
in the Mills Lawn Big Toy. Snow on bicycles becomes a study in light and
form in the hands of Emma Robinow, while Jake Fulton finds beauty in ears
The shape of a spiral stairway catches the artistic eye of Issa Walker
in his photo, Moving Up Lightly, while Lila Jensen finds an
unexpected grace in her photos of liquid-filled glasses. Bethany Borbely
captures joy and innocence in a photo of a childs feet, while Matt
Zaff creates irony and surprise with his juxtaposition of a winged statue
and a modern skyscraper.
And in three photos of solitary people looking out windows, Hennessy creates
striking and compassionate images of isolation.
Overall, the work is strong this year, said Elum, who teaches
both beginning and advanced photography courses. You can see how
students who had a rocky time starting out learning to work with cameras
overcame that admirably. It shows in the work, the high quality of it.
While the students photography offers many examples of finely tuned
observation, their fine art offers a sense of freedom and playfulness.
My main theme is to encourage students to love art and to continue
their exploration of it in whatever way they choose, said YSHS/McKinney
School art teacher Carla Steiger-Meister. Im proud of my students
work. It reflects great inspiration and creativity.
Students in art and advanced art were clearly offered a wide variety of
means for exploring their creativity. A paper montage by Kenny Wilson
presents images of violence, while Rebecca Guest created a delicate glass
and bead sculpture using strips of a CD. Patrick Holihan made a nontraditional
skirt from flattened Dr. Pepper bottles while Jennifer Gordon painted
a pop art rendition of a Coca-Cola bottle cap. Drums created from gourds
are also on exhibit.
Art students also learn traditional techniques for drawing and painting,
as evidenced in a finely nuanced charcoal drawing of the lower half of
a face, by Rose Byrnes.
Yellow Springs High School art students familiarity with major art
movements is obvious in the exhibit as well, with pieces that explore
surrealism, abstract expressionism and pop art, among others. Students
understand art more deeply when they have some historical perspective,
I like to teach art as a dialogue with history, she said.
At the high school, 55 students are enrolled in video and photography
classes while 14 take art and advanced art. Some students preference
for technical arts reflects our societys focus on technology, said
Steiger-Meister, who believes that low-tech art still offers considerable
riches for the art student.
Something magical happens, she said, when an artist
creates something just with her hands.
Those who want to know what Yellow Springs young people are thinking these
days might choose to visit this exhibit, which also offers reminders of
the beauty of the ordinary world and the surprise and joy of making art.