By Abby Boerwinkle, senior at North Olmsted High School
Our wonderful North Olmsted Arts Commission has been given the task of integrating the community and bringing entertainment and culture to the residents who are happy to call it home. It has once again has outdone itself by hosting the annual Mayor’s Art Show, and this year, we can expect a multitude of original artwork created by the talented students attending North Olmsted High School. The show will be displaying the best of their work that they’ve spent countless time and effort creating through the various art classes offered at the school. As an artist with work in the show and as a student currently enrolled in those classes myself, I can guarantee that taking a look around the gallery is definitely worth a drive up to Old Town Hall. The city has made many renovations to the historic building just for this event so the students could display their work in a building that reflected the allure of their work. Even those who aren’t big art enthusiasts can find something to enjoy as the updated building will be open to the public for the first time. No matter if it’s for the large collection of student artwork or for the love of historic structures, we hope to see a large wave of people attending the show.
One of the things I like most about art is that anything can be considered art and there are many ways to make it. Whether it be paintings, photography or ceramics, all types of media have something to bring to the world art. The Mayor’s Art Show strives to display this diversity in creativity and show the public what the young adults of this city are capable of. Several works to be displayed in the show have been in previous shows before. Weeks ago, select students had their work in the Scholastic Art Show at the Cleveland Institute of Art. A senior peer of mine, Zoe Johnson, and I both won prestigious awards for our work, which will also be displayed in this show. Needless to say, the quality of the student’s work is nothing short of exemplary.
Though many of the pieces may share similar qualities, no two are alike. A basic project the ceramics students are tasked with is the construction of a vase, but because there is such a wide variety of skill levels and imagination, each vase has its own redeeming qualities. As you walk around the gallery, take some time to look for Jessica Hogan’s “Phases” and Zoe Johnson’s “Bertha!”. Both are beautifully constructed vases but each one is a little bit different in shape, color and size. These differences are what make each piece artistic, and the entire gallery worth exploring.
Behind the artwork lies a creator with a story and an inspiration. Each artist being showcased has their own journey and their own reasoning behind their creations. Some seek inspiration from their feelings and others from important people in their lives. Artist Julia Becerra, creator of “Box of Sunshine,” was heavily influenced by her loving relationship with her mother and all of the quality time they spent together. Her work serves as a memorial to her mother, who loved sunflowers and singing along to Beatles with her daughter. Her story proves that there is much more to everything in the show than meets the eye.
Looking closer, take note of the extreme amount of detail put into each piece. Think of the time it took to make them. It’s no secret that artistry isn’t easy, and each artist faces a multitude of problems of their own. Take the words of senior Melanie Carrocia, creator of “Constricted,” for instance. When sculpting her mask, she encountered several unforeseen obstacles that she had to account for in sculpting the mask. Detail and shape are things that everyone expects an artist to worry about, but something most don’t think about is the logistics of the project. For Melanie, there was the risk of her piece exploding in the kiln either because of air pockets or thick layers of clay. To prevent this, she had to be very cautious as to scrape the inside layers of her mask to ensure the piece would survive the kiln.
Art has the ability to bring a community together, not only into the same room but as an accumulation of various social groups with a common interest. If you take a closer look behind the artistry, you’ll find an artist with a story much like your own. Perhaps you may find a bit of yourself hidden within one of the many wonderful pieces displayed in the Mayor’s Art Show. You may even discover something you’ve never seen before. Either way, this is a spectacle you wouldn’t want to miss.