MASTERED ART: WHS students show work at River WalkPublished 1:02am Friday, March 29, 2013
Thanks to collaboration with River Walk Gallery and Arts Center, Washington High School student Grayce Woolard will experience several firsts.
She will display her painting in a gallery for the first time. She will complete her first painting on canvas. And — fingers crossed — she will make her first sale.
Woolard’s painting will be one of 16 works from Washington High School students on display at the downtown Washington gallery through the end of April. The show opens Monday.
“I think it’s pretty awesome,” Woolard said of the opportunity to show at River Walk.
This is the second year Washington students will display and sell artwork at the gallery. Last year’s show was of photographs. Art instructor Melissa Manning-Moore arranged the show, using connections she had at the gallery. Manning-Moore shows her work at River Walk.
She assigned students the task of finding the work of a master to copy. The assignment was a challenge since many had never painted a person. The assignment was a lesson in blending paints to mimic realistic skin tones, highlights and hair.
“Anyone can do a Picasso because it’s more flat and geometric,” Manning-Moore said. “This was something they needed to learn.”
Students will also learn a bit about the business behind art when they spend today discussing how to price their works.
Juniors Melissa Henley and McKenzie Worley came up with a way to make their pieces an original interpretation of a master’s work. The pair divided the classic 1930 painting “American Gothic” by Grant Wood. Henley is painting the farmer and, in a separate painting, Worley is doing the farmer’s wife. They plan to display the works together and hang a pitchfork between them. In the original, the farmer was holding the pitchfork.
“We’re trying to get them as similar as possible, but it’s hard,” Worley said. “She (Henley) keeps teasing me about the shadows. She said it looks like she (the farmer’s wife) got beat up.”
Henley was having trouble, too.
“I’m having issues with that eyebrow,” she said, pointing to the blend of shadows and lines that formed the right brow.
Henley painted the brow exactly as Wood depicted it and hoped for the best.
In addition to agreeing to show and sell the works, the gallery donated the canvases students used.
Manning-Moore said the gallery would benefit as much as the students.
“It’s a good opportunity to show our young kids’ talent, and it brings people into the gallery to see it,” she said. “It’s an opportunity for our kids and their parents to go into the gallery.”
The River Walk Gallery and Art Center is located in Washington at 139 W. Main St. For more information about the show, call 252-974-0400.