Growing up, Riley Burke was always intrigued and involved in art.
Now a senior at Scituate High School, she is one of many art students whose work is on display this month at the Front Street Art Gallery as part of the gallery’s annual SHS art exhibition, ” Discover the artists of tomorrow” organized by Scituate Arts. Association.
Burke worked on capturing still lifes through his photography of boats in harbor.
“My favorite work I created was when I captured movement and light reflecting off boats in the harbour, and this shot is one of my absolute favorites.”
Burke was inspired by Scituate’s reputation.
“I thought that picture really represented our beach town,” she said. “It personally reflects my appreciation of growing up with the ability to be so close to marine life and the experiences we were able to have because of our location.”
Sixty-two students from Scituate High School have work displayed in the exhibit.
“The SHS Show has always been one of my favorites,” said Janet Cornacchio, artist and president of the Scituate Arts Association. “It amazes me how well young artists can express their emotions and capture the personality or essence of what they present.”
Arts and inspirations
Burke isn’t the only student working on a marine theme; Erin Gibbons chose to exhibit a mixed media piece featuring an octopus, and Garrett Wasserman presents an acrylic on canvas painting of a striped marlin.
“I’ve always been fascinated by the ocean and sea animals,” Gibbons said. “When I was considering different animals to use, I chose an octopus thinking the tentacles would make the piece particularly interesting.”
After completing the collage, she felt the piece needed something more, so she chose to stamp the number nine in blue ink behind the octopus to reflect an ocean current.
“I had thought of many different numbers, but I chose the number nine because octopuses have nine brains – one for each tentacle in addition to a central brain.”
Wasserman’s main goal in all of his ocean exhibits is to completely immerse the viewer and make them feel like they have a window into the open ocean world.
“Although these marlins live in vast deep oceans, they are known to stay close to the surface,” he said. “I wanted to challenge myself to create the feeling of deep water while maintaining the reflections and brightness of areas where the sun hits it.”
Lillian Gerhart, a junior, submitted three pieces to the exhibition – a scene from one of her favorite films, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” painted on a large canvas, a colored pencil drawing titled “Field Trip to the Aquarium” and a portrait of his uncle called “Uncle Greg”.
“This drawing is meant to signify the use of creativity and imagination in any storyline, and how our minds like to expand into intriguing fantasies,” she said of “Field Trip to the Aquarium”.
In “Uncle Greg”, his subject wears colored sunglasses, “which was very fascinating for me to experiment with, and drawing his unique character was super fun”.
Gerhart has previously exhibited her work at the Front Street Art Gallery exhibition and “really loves” the connections she has made with the people there.
“I’ve seen Front Street Art shows in the past that inspire me to keep creating,” she said.
Senior Sydnie Marshall has several pieces on display.
The work, ‘The Artist’s Desk’ is a work of direct observation using graphite and charcoal, while ‘The Pursuit of Hope’ captures the image of a mother and son as they walk towards the North to escape the brutal segregation and racism of the South.
“In this piece, I was experimenting for the first time with the use of textured gesso, oil pastel and oil bar,” she said.
“A Man and His Guitar”, inspired by Paul McCartney and his guitar, was a relatively small piece she made using oil pastel and black pen, and “Let’s Go to Space” is a more recent work by her that deals with the conflicting relationship between increasing technological advancements and religious institutions.
“Growing up in a Christian family, I remember times when the science I learned in school was in direct conflict with the beliefs I was raised to follow.”
Four of Marshall’s works were exhibited at the art gallery last year; three of them sold.
The SHS Art Department and students dedicated this year’s student exhibit to Stacey Hendrickson who retired last summer after teaching art for more than 30 years at Scituate Public Schools.
“She inspired, encouraged and supported so many student artists in the town of Scituate, it was a way to show our appreciation for her years of service,” said art teacher Jessica Maguire. “I was blessed to have Stacey as an art teacher at Gates Middle School in the 90s, so it’s a bit surreal to teach her class this year.”
The students all expressed great appreciation for the opportunity to have their work exhibited at the Gallery.
Art teacher Julie Hickey is “so thrilled” that the collection represents the wide range of artistic styles, preferences for materials and processes, and self-directed artworks that define the advanced art courses in our curriculum. ‘studies.
“The themes and subjects represent the range of investigations in which each of the young artists engages through the development of their own portfolio.”
Rather than making a formal judgment, the Gallery invites the public to select their favorite pieces from the exhibition.
“We call it the ‘People’s Choice Award’,” Cornacchio said. “It is primarily meant to be a recognition that the artist’s ability has been recognized and appreciated by his peers and the public. It’s a moment of well-being all around.
For more information on visiting the Front Street Art Gallery frontstreetartgallery.com
Follow Ruth Thompson on Twitter @scituateruth