BHS artists display creative prowess
By David Arny
The celebrated artist Paul Klee once said that drawing was like “taking a line for a walk.” The exhibition of artwork at Bandera’s First Methodist Church Thursday, March 13, proved that Bandera High School and middle school art students have an excellent grasp of how to “walk” a concept through the creative process and produce dazzling visual images.
BHS art instructor Connie Young has taught art for 30 years, 19 of those years in Bandera. She and fellow art teacher Amy Kepp attended the show and appeared to be beaming with pride over the quality of work produced by their students.
Judges at the show incldued members of the Bandera County Artists Association (BCAA) in addition to BHS graduates who are continuing their art education elsewhere. Aside from helping adjudicate the show, members of the BCAA will give three senior student exhibitors who plan to study art after graduation a check for $500 to be used towards future academic expenses.
This year, Jennifer Edwards, a 2007 BHS grad now taking graphic arts courses at Schreiner University in Kerrville, helped judge the competition. Other BHS alumni who assisted with past exhibits are Michael Scheel, class of ’05 and currently attending Texas State University in San Marcos, and Young’s daughter Megan, class of ‘04 and a graduate of Tarleton State University in Stephenville.
One of the works exhibited was 11th grader Britain Chapman’s digital image of a man sleeping in a moonlit desert with a lion watching over him, an homage to Henri Rousseau’s “The Sleeping Gypsy.” Chapman also displayed a pencil drawing entitled “Fading Away,” which featured figures on a thoroughfare with a signpost reading “confusion” beside it.
A small-format acrylic painting of a black dog on a stippled green, red and golden-yellow background by Bandera Middle School student Emily Frost had a bright, luminous quality to it and earned the seventh grader a second-place ribbon.
Senior Josh Arguello’s untitled pointillist drawing of a crouching winged creature with a tilted halo above its head was designated Best in Show for pen and ink.
Lebanese exchange student Mohamad Jamal, attending 11th grade classes at BHS and a student of Young’s, displayed his VASE Award-winning pencil drawing entitled “Lebanon.”
Oil painting prodigy Kristi Scales, who will attend Texas Tech to major in studio art next fall, showed a single canvas this year which won third place in that medium. “Without Him I’m Nothing” featured a portrait of herself and her twin brother Cody fused into one intriguing face. One of Scales’ trademarks - eyes rendered so skillfully that seem to have a third dimension to them - make the canvas easily recognizable as one of her striking works.
It isn’t cheap traveling to exhibitions in other cities to show student artwork or purchasing materials needed to have an art show. In addition to pegboard and Celotex panels used to display their work, BHS art club members pay for prize ribbons given to winning contestants, exhibit fees at shows such as the recent VASE competition in San Antonio and field trips to museums in other cities. Club members raised money for these and other expenses during the school year by offering face painting at football games, holding silent auctions and selling t-shirts emblazoned with silk-screened prints designed by art club members.