by Diana Cook
Although students are working on art all year long in classes at all schools in Phoenix, it takes just a few days to transform the halls of John C. Birdlebough High School and Maroun Elementary school into what looks like an authentic art showing.
The annual district art show offers a peak into both directed projects and unique style of each student as they take on those assignments.
The art show presents work from the high school and middle school at JCB and the extensive creations of the youngest kids throughout the elementary halls. Those who come in each year to peruse the extensive mediums, subjects, color and style often leave in amazement at the incredible talent seemingly hidden behind a myriad of faces throughout the community.
Without question, students in Phoenix explore their own interests as they create their one of a kind pieces and the result is, also without question, awe-inspiring to those who take in the event. With examples of every kind, from photographs to watercolor, or pastels to charcoal, the hallways are lined with student talent.
At JCB, the focus on entry to the building is very clearly on the seniors who have spent four years honing their artistic skills. Senior students each set up their own show of work, against a backdrop also clearly driven by their own style.
All-in-all, 17 senior students - Danielle Hurd, Dylan Dutton, James Leach, Vickie Allmon, Selena Spencer, Katrina Quintal, Clarissa Lyboult, Megan Hellwig, Matt Meaker, Emily Nichols, Leah Sawyer, Tiffany Tomasino, Savannah Brienza, Emily McGinley, Dana Richards, Kayleigh Haynes, Kaylee May - presented their final display of work at JCB. Many of their works were pinned with ribbons and awards won at a variety of shows and competitions around Oswego County.
Among the awards taken by students in Phoenix this year were the following. Vickie Allmon, Dalton Dobson and Brittany Perkins each received gold key Scholastic Art awards for their Photography portfolios, with Honorable Mention Photo Regional awards going to Allmon and Dobson, as well as to Alex Frawley and Alicia Landis. Dobson also had artwork accepted at the Lakeside Statewide Oswego Art Association - a juried show. Danielle Hurd and James Leach both received Honorable Mention Regional awards for their drawing portfolio. In addition, Drawing Regional awards were received by Alysha Briggs, James Leach and Danielle Hurd.
In the Salmon River Art Show, several winners represented Phoenix, including Liz Russell from JCB and Jacqueline Greer from Emerson J. Dillon Middle School at the seventh- to ninth-grade levels. “Best of Show” went to Alysha Briggs for her piece entitled “Toot Your Horn, with Leach taking a second place at the show for “Breakfast in America” as well as an Honorable Mention for “The General”. Also at the 10th- to 12th-grade level as Honorable Mention were Jennifer VanWarmer and Dana Richards.
Honors were indicated from the Fulton Art Show as well. Under Digital Photography, Sarah Dennison and Dylan Dutton took Honorable Mention. James Leach received a first place in the category of Drawing A (Charcoal, Chalk, Graphite), Jenn VanWormer received a first place in the Drawing C (Mixed Media) and Briggs an Honorable Mention in the same category. Under Drawing E (Mixed Media-Painting/Drawing, Danielle Hurd received a second place award. Alicia Landis received a first place Film Photography award, Cody Doran, first place Ceramics award, and Shaemus (Selena) Spencer took “Best of Show”.
Creative expression certainly comes with its own path, as individual students put their all into artistically developing whatever it is that inspires them.
And perhaps one senior student reflected, in a phrase that highlighted her senior presentation, what it is that moves just about everyone, as they put down on paper or look through a camera lens to express what’s in their mind. “The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams”.