Artistry and themes of several varieties was represented well among the roughly 150 participants in the Greenville Arts Council Student Invitational exhibit, which opened Thursday evening.
Parents and students alike were abuzz about the artwork displayed in the Carousel Pavilion of the E.E. Bass Cultural Arts Center.
Some frames contained brilliantly detailed images rendered by tools as simple as a pencil, some were of the classic graphite on sulphite paper motif, some were impressively rendered in batik — wax, watercolor and acrylic — and some were lively and multi-dimensional in the realm of graphic design.
“Mom and Dad” by seventh grader Aumarcus Cremona, of T.L. Weston; “The Goat” by eighth grader Devon Joseph, also from T.L. Weston; “Wading in the River” by Riverside High School’s Gracy Nerren; “Connecting through the Deep’’ by 11th grader Hayden Eubanks, of Riverside High School; “Saludos desde Morelia Michoacan” by ninth grader Yasmin Ortiz, of St. Joseph Catholic School; and “Owl” by second grader Cody Painter, of Deer Creek School, all earned the Judge’s Choice Award in their respective categories.
“Doug’’ by 11th grader Madolyn McGaugh, of St. Joseph Catholic School, won the Merit Award.
“I almost couldn’t believe it myself,” one parent said of her daughter’s artwork. “I knew she was talented, but she did an amazing job.”
This year’s guest judge was Nancy Stone-Streett — Greenville resident and Montana native.
Regarded as a prolific painter, printmaker and educator, she is also a recipient of the Mississippi Humanities Teacher award from the Mississippi Humanities Council and is presently an art instructor and gallery director at Mississippi Delta Community College.
“I had a hard time with this. After having been a judge for many years, I had the most difficult time with this particular exhibit,” she said. “So many students had entered work of exceptional quality and we have some very talented students and teachers in the area.”
Reflecting on all of the “fabulous pieces” she observed at the exhibit, Stone-Streett recalled how grateful she was when she was presented with the opportunity to teach art at MDCC — one that she described as fulfilling.
“I think that kids who are going to be artists really need enforcement because it isn’t an easy thing to do as there are no guarantees you’re going to make any money,” she highlighted. “You have to give them all the backing that you can.”
She attested to the importance of having guidance in the study of art both as a pupil and educator, affirming the mission of GAC and similar organizations.
The exhibit will remain on display for the public viewing from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays until April 27 at E.E. Bass, 323 S. Main St.