Student artists exhibit designs during Fine Arts Week at James Clemens

Abigail Howland created this stunning image in art class at James Clemens High School. (CONTRIBUTED)
Abigail Howland created this stunning image in art class at James Clemens High School. (CONTRIBUTED)
Gillian Gormley exhibited her collages during Fine Arts Week at James Clemens High School. (CONTRIBUTED)
Gillian Gormley exhibited her collages during Fine Arts Week at James Clemens High School. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – All of James Clemens High School’s 70 art students exhibited their artwork during Fine Arts Week.

James Clemens’ weeklong art festival “allows us to really give the spotlight to each department instead of having a hurried presentation by everybody in one evening,” art teacher Liz Vaughn said.

“Students can be celebrated individually, with their personal talents having a moment to shine,” she said.

Students displayed their semester’s work in the lobby and adjacent hallways. “Seeing so many different styles of art shows how each student is encouraged to find their own artistic voice,” Vaughn said.

Seniors who have studied art throughout high school were given wall space for their portfolios. Senior Dylan Neal’s awards include the regional Scholastic Arts & Writing Awards, Huntsville Literary Association’s Alliance for Young Writers Art Contest and “Best in District 5” for Youth Art Month. Neal’s wall featured many large, dark images of blurred portraits.

Maddy Corron placed in the regional Scholastic Arts & Writing Awards and received a $68,000 scholarship to Memphis College of Art and Design. “Maddy did a portfolio of highly saturated pastel portraits, using strong colors instead of lifelike ones,” Vaughn said. “Her shadows were drawn with hot pinks and blues, where her highlights were in yellows and pale greens.”

Collage artists, like Gillian Gormley and Jiana Carter, used images from other sources and added paint to create new compositions. Adriana Zarazua and Abby Howland used pastels and colored pencils, respectively, to enhance natural colors of sketched animals.

Camille Mancuso drew her classmate from direct observation and used colored pencils to add very muted, subtle values in color, she said.

“Any time our students can collaborate to create something ‘real,’ they feel like their class work has tangible benefits,” Vaughn said about the exhibits. The community also validates their work by attending performances, shows and awards nights.

“I’m always pleased when (residents) are amazed that high school students can produce and perform with such passion and quality,” Vaughn said. “I’m very pleased for them.”

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