The artwork of nine students who participated in Washington County Community College’s Mixed Media class for the spring semester was on display at a public showing at the college on May 9th. The students ranged in ages and in capabilities, with the wide assortment of perspectives adding nicely to the variety of art on display. The dozens of attendees that came to appreciate their efforts were widely impressed by the number of pieces exhibited and the talent demonstrated.
The college typically offers introduction to drawing in the fall and a more advanced art class in the spring. Instructor Karry Ann Nadeau said that the scheduling works well as it enables students that take the first class to expand their capabilities with the second.
Nadeau noted that some students are already accomplished artists. As an example, the college library has asked one student, Jane Andrews, to come back and display the body of her work in the fall. Andrews specializes in wilderness-themed art, particularly paintings that incorporate moose. One unusual piece is a moose antler painted with a scene, while another is a painting done on a traditional snowshoe. Andrews and her husband, Larry, recalled how they had seen a painted snowshoe while in Greenville – though they found it unusual that the scene wasn’t a winter one. Andrews remedied the problem by painting her own seasonally appropriate piece, which was among those displayed at the show. Asked what inspires her theme, Andrews shared that she and her family find great comfort in the woods, adding, “Some of our best times were moose hunting.”
Some of the students are returning veterans of Nadeau’s previous classes, such as Mary Kay Bramble. Bramble, who enjoys painting, said she appreciated the challenge this semester in approaching abstract art at the behest of the instructor. “When I paint, I do landscapes. Karry Ann said I needed to get out of my comfort zone.” She was presented with the task of studying Jackson Pollock. “I was terrified. How do you paint something with nothing in it?” She proceeded, and painted what she has titled “Discomfort Zone.” The experience was novel and Bramble thinks she will “enjoy painting my next one more.”
For student Will Hewes, the class offered the opportunity to learn a few new techniques and explore some thematic designs. He produced a horror-themed mask based on his own face with protruding lips made from cloth affixed to it. Another piece is comprised of three separate images: The Orb of Infinity, representing positivity, the Orb of Neverending, representing negativity, and, between them, the orb of Equilibrium. “All three tied together balance out the universe,” Hewes explained.
The youngest participant was 16-year old Rebekah Guiltner, whose submission to the Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest in Idaho was granted first place for Grades 7-9 two years ago. For the class, Guiltner created a collage piece she calls “Queen of England” since the center part of the profile is a map of England. “Every piece of it has to do with being the Queen of England,” Guiltner explained. “The crown is made of flame, her gown is made of mountains. It’s kind of symbolic.” As a homeschooler that moved to the area with her family last fall, Guiltner appreciates being able to take part in the college’s offerings. “Being a homeschooler, it’s nice to have a variety of classes at the college.”