Parkrose High hosts regional student art show

Take a look at this amazing display of student-created art …

120 students from the eight schools in the conference brought their two best works to this regional art show and competition, held at Parkrose High School in April.

Story and photos By David F. Ashton
What a surprise and delight it was to walk through the Northwest Oregon Conference Art show, held earlier in April at Parkrose High School. The art on display ranged from very good – to WOW!

Mark Warner, the Parkrose High art teacher who instructs students in pottery, ceramics, and sculpture told us about the event.

“Fifteen students, from each of the eight schools in our conference, brought their best works to the show,” Warner told us.  “Throughout the day, both our students and our visitors attended workshops and artists’ talks.”

The art on display was judged by three professional artists, the students’ peers, and by teachers, he added. “Take a look around. You’ll be impressed.”

Cesar Pina shows us his ceramic ghost character.

Great Cesar’s ghost
You’ve read about Parkrose High senior, and art genius, Cesar Pina, before, at East Portland News; we weren’t surprised to find him in the show.

“I’m holding my little ghost ceramic character,” Pina said. “This is our first project of the year, and I wanted to do something challenging. With Halloween coming up, I decided on this figure.”

Pina said this figurine wasn’t spun on a potter’s wheel.  “The basic shape is created on a core of newspaper; it needs to be hollow so it doesn’t explode in the kiln. I softened the edges, and created the shape. The newspaper burns out of the center of the figure when it is fired in the kiln. I coated it with a white, translucent glaze to give it a ghostly effect.”

We wish Pina well; he said he hopes to study animation in California; perhaps at Cal Arts.

Photographer Forest Feazle, Parkrose High sophomore, shows off his work.

Makes art with camera and lens
It’s true; we focused on local talent at our visit. Another artist with whom we spoke was Parkrose High sophomore Forest Feazle.

“I’ve tried to draw and paint – I have the artistic vision, but it just doesn’t work for me,” Feazle explained. “I started out just taking my parents’ little point-and-shoot camera on my walks at night. I took really grainy looking photographs of people and things in my neighborhood. I just got my first SLR from my aunt.”

Feazle had praise for his photography instructor, Patrick Smith, a professional photographer from the City of Maywood Park. “He has the best quality any teacher can have: He answers questions. I’m free to ask a question like ‘What would you do to achieve this kind of effect?’  He’ll answer the question, and then explain what’s behind the answer, so you understand the answer. A lot of people can do something well they can’t explain it; Mr. Smith really explains it well.”

Freshman Hayden Sexsmith shows us his captivating work of art.

We found nascent artist Hayden Sexsmith, a freshman at Parkrose High School, to be a man of few words. We did find his sculpture fascinating.

We asked what inspired his figurine entitled, “Hit the Nail on the Head”. “I don’t know. The idea came into my head,” Sexsmith said.

Art professionals Pat Boas and Dylan Morgan judge the works on display during the show and competition.

Judges: ‘Pretty amazing’
One of the judges at the show, Pat Boas, an art professor at Portland State University, took a moment to comment on what she’d seen.

“I think the show is pretty amazing,” Boas began. “There is a great array of really wonderful work here. It is very evident that these artists are inching toward both creativity and technical skill. Both the student artists – and their art teachers – are to be applauded.”

Another judge, Dylan Morgan, Gallery Manager at the Museum of Contemporary Craft agreed, “The show is great. I remember being in a similar type of show when I was in high school. It’s exciting to see so many different and unique ways of using the different media. It’s an impressive display of artwork.”

Mark Warner, the Parkrose High art teacher instructor of pottery, ceramics, and sculpture, answers questions during the art show.

‘Raises the bar’ for students
Warner told us he, too, was impressed by the art coming from students at the conference schools, which include Wilsonville, Parkrose, Century, Sherwood, Glencoe, St. Helens, Hillsboro, and Liberty.

“This event is important because it raises the bar for the students,” explained Warner.

“While a student might be the ‘hot shot’ in their class, they get to witness the quality of work put out by other students in our region.  It’s also great for the art teachers as well. It pushes us to help the students create even better works.”

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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