VARDEN - Two self-portraits titled “Jet Fuel” and “Made of Dust” and a color pencil piece of actor Luke Evans won Western Wayne High School art students Melanie Roberts and Shailyn Pugh first and second place respectively at the 4th High School Emerging Artists Showcase at The Art Factory of White Mills on Saturday, Jan. 19.

Students from local schools participated.  Western Wayne had a number of high school students submit pieces including: Maya Black, Miriam Sheehan, Melanie Roberts, Melody Gershey, Dayla Jones, Kat Moore, Rachel Butler, Shailyn Pugh, Abby Burke, and Nina Nerys.

Junior Shailyn Pugh won the second place prize of a 75 dollar gift card to Michael’s.

She felt proud of her color pencil portrait of actor Luke Evans who, among many other roles, recently played Gaston in the newest Beauty and the Beast film.  Shailyn enjoys creating portraits and other realistic pieces.  She thinks the one she did of Evans is one of her best.

“I used to be afraid of blending colors,” Shailyn explained. “But for this piece I think the colors I needed were there in the end.”

The prize money will help Shailyn purchase water color paper and new paint. She would like to practice more painting and explained that she loves the challenge involved in creating good quality art work.

“When I’m finished with a piece, I like to see what I created and usually I can see myself getting better,” Shailyn said.

Her classmate senior Melanie Roberts came in first at the showcase for her self-portraits, “Jet Fuel” and “Made of Dust.”

Melanie explained how she enjoys creating symbolic self-portraits that display qualities about her.

“Jet Fuel,” created with half colored pencil and half pen and ink, has a background of half water with her head under it.

“A lot of my pictures show emotion,” Melaine said.

Daydreaming and wonderment is represented in Melanie’s other portrait in the showcase called “Made of Dust,” created with colored pencil, charcoal, and some acrylic.  She explained how there are planets and starts around her head in the picture which represent how her head is sometimes in the clouds.

Next year, Melaine wishes to start college in the spring and study art.  In the meantime, she plans to use the prize of a 100 dollar gift card to Michaels to buy more acrylic paint and pen and ink markers.

“I like to show how I feel in my art work,” Melaine explained. “It helps me to explain things because it is hard to talk about emotions.”