MILFORD - Visions and whimsical experimentations led to a unique art show that’s currently happening in Milford. Once again, young artists from Delaware Valley High School are sharing their imaginations through “From Destruction to Creation” at the ARTery at 210 Broad Street.
Now through April 8, the creations of nearly 30 students are a part of the annual exhibit that derives from students’ discoveries and explorations. Art Teacher Christine Sweeney said the “goal” of the program is to “push” the students so they take risks and, sometimes ruin their art in an attempt for “new discovery.” By taking chances and trying new things, that sometimes is the most rewarding while also the most challenging, because it has taken the students time to develop their skills and then, to ruin it isn’t easy.
From many of the students, their inspirations and ideas for their pieces stemmed from aspects of their lives, Josh Musano for one, appreciates the talents of the late Bob Ross. The junior said he referenced one of Ross’s paintings, but made his own additions because he feels the art is “peaceful.” The painting Musano had on display, was only his second painting ever, but it was his first time showing in a gallery.
A fan of “pop arty things,” senior Gia Cicileo stood near her hanging pastel on paper and cardboard piece, which she titled “Fryo” that showed her interests, as well as offered an “emotional appeal of sunglasses” because actual sunglass lenses were a part of the work. Cicileo has plans to pursue a career in fashion, and with that, she said Froyo is “very out there” and “expressive,” which blends with her interests.
The students created moots the art on display in class, but not all. The art, Sweeney said is the students’ “highest quality” work, which makes for a varied show that includes photography to painting to jewelry and more. All of the art is for sale.
Through their art classes, Sweeney said the students interest in their projects is “peaked,” and as word of the exhibit has spread overtime, excitement for the show has grown. Students are taking great pride in their work, because they know it will be on display for the world to see in a real gallery.
For Sweeney, she said it’s seeing the students’ responses after they finish their art. Then, once they’re showing and talking proudly of their work it makes the experience “priceless.” Once the art is hanging and the lights are shining in the gallery, she believes “breathes new life” into the students’ art, giving them a “sense of possibility.”
At the opening of the show, Olivia Gandolfo proudly held the yellow-reddish colored clay vase she made with her own hands. The junior believes the vase to be different, because aside from the coloring, the piece has two “necks.” The reasoning Gandolfo explained, she felt two necks would “look cooler.” From the color to its size and two necks, Gandolfo’s vision differed from many of her peers, but she wanted her vase to be its own. In all, it took Gandolfo nine hours to create her art, wrapping the coils around and around without using a wheel. In the end, happily she said the vase turned out “exactly” how she hoped.
Gallery Curator Marie Liu said the exhibit is an opportunity for the students to learn what it is like to be a part of a professional gallery, while also welcoming others who may not have otherwise visited the ARTery. As an artist herself, every year Liu is “stunned” by the students’ work because they are so “creative and imaginative” in how they execute their ideas that are “fabulous and lively.”
Inspired by a box of matches, senior Julia Thompson shared her photography, titling it “Extinguished.” Using different compositions, Thompson explained how she “experimented” with how she could photograph smoke and fire, while also using Photoshop to better define aspects of the photo. After taking many shots, Thompson chose the photo because it had “energy and movement” that was the most interesting. Thompson has actually been showing since she was a freshman, which she said has been “special.”
A senior, Anastasia Grigoryeva showed a “multimedia piece” she explained, that started when she “stumbled upon” a shadow of a plant. From that, she went on to trace images, use color pencils as well as modge podge. Overall, the piece took Grigoryeva three months to complete. Initially, Grigoryeva passed by the plant many times before realizing what was meant to be. In the end, she said the final piece was not what she initially envisioned, because it grew as she worked, all for the better. To show in a gallery has made her proud because her art was also chosen for the press release of the exhibit opening.
Melody Bookey hopes people walk away from her painting, considering what it means to be “overthinking.” The junior explained about the two heads, which are her own, that one shows an “intense lightning storm” that is over calm water, displaying a scenario she finds herself in at times. Bookey isn’t sure where she got the idea for the concept, but often her paintings are those of “real struggles” she has had. Consequently, she takes the emotions and ideas and transfers them into her art.
As Bookey worked on the large painting, the idea came together how she imaged, because she hoped the colors would catch peoples’ eyes. She actually did the painting on her own time. Art, Bookey said, “means everything” to her because its that one thing that makes her “tick.” This isn’t Bookey’s first show, but to share her art is “rewarding” because the world is seeing a part of her life.
A fan of cars, Hanna Graghwohl painted a car engine that she believes to be a “pop art piece,” she said. Her own interests in cars, led her to just go with it, even though the painting took three months. Despite the time, the finished image is not what she first thought, but she is “extremely” pleased with the outcome. Graghwohl believes, the painting has a “wow factor” because of the color, contrast and size. Even though it’s for sale, Graghwohl said she could continue working on it and really, it is not done.
To the public, Liu said unwrapping the art each year is thrilling, because the students’ imaginations are a “wonderful surprise” since they have varying techniques that work.
At the opening of the exhibit, Sweeney said the collective works reveal the “uniqueness” of each student because of how they “navigated the maze of creativity” by being critical of their choices, but still going forward and sharing their art. To that, she appreciates how the students are “brave” and use their voices.
For more information about the exhibit, contact the The ARTery Fine Art & Craft Gallery at 570-409-1234.