I was happy to take part in Artists in Transition by being a juror for their art show in South Haven, Michigan, in January. Artists in Transition exhibits art created middle and high school students. The show had a variety of art in different mediums and showcased the creative talents from the schools. The art consisted mostly of painted and graphite mediums, but a few pieces were sculptures and collages.
I, as well as two others, received the chance to pick three pieces each that stood out to us. This was extremely tough, since there were many pieces that were not only aesthetically pleasing, but also well executed technically. There was also a people’s choice and the art center’s choice of winners.
The amazing thing about art is that it makes you think about what the artist really wanted to show. Many pieces from artists in these age groups are just meant to look pretty. This is likely because they simply wanted to fulfill the requirements of the school project. But there were quite a few pieces that involved the world around the student artist. It can be both beautiful and sad to see how our world affects kids, but they turn around and use art to take a stand for what they believe in. A few pieces touched on religion, while another student had made a sculpture about abuse. These are sensitive subjects that are being expressed through art.
There were also artworks that made use of difficult techniques. One artist appeared to have used flat pieces of metal to create an image of a ship. It then appears to have been welded onto a flat piece of metal. It was out-of-the-box thinking that created a very interesting, rustic image. A few artists tried out pointillism. I personally know that this is a very long and patience-testing task. It involves creating the image out of dots. An work that you might be familiar with is A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by George Seurat. It was in the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, when the characters visit the art museum in Chicago and Cameron is staring at a painting.
Waiting, the piece I chose, had a wolf atop a high hill overlooking a hilly valley. The technique used was pointillism. You can truly appreciate Waiting from a distance or up close. While up close, you can value the placement of each mark. Not only were the dots used to create form, they also create pattern and depth. When you step back from the piece, you can see the whole picture clearer. From farther away, you can see the great sense of depth that was created by using bolder or more frequent dots in the foreground and progressively fewer dots toward the background. Overall, the artist executed pointillism exceptionally well, and the frequency of the marks created a beautiful sense of atmosphere.
It was really fun looking at all the work that these students made. It was even more inspiring. I hope to be able to take part in another show in the future!