Carnegie Center Celebration of the Visual Arts

Samantha Veltrie, Staff Writer

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May 4 was the opening of the annual Celebration of the Visual Arts, an art showcase at the Carnegie Center of the Arts in Three Rivers that displays students’ artwork from every school in TR Community Schools district ranging from pre-kindergarten to high school age students.  An awards ceremony takes place for the high school students, with student artists’ work selected for a variety of recognitions and prizes.  These are sponsored by various people and businesses from around the community.

The juror for this year’s high school awards was Kim Glessner.  Director of the Carnegie Center, Donna Grubbs, described Glessner as an “accomplished artist” and that she was well-qualified to jury the art show this year. “I can’t tell you how valuable this show is to our kids,” said Grubbs.

Receiving first place was Hailey Runyon for her mixed media landscape piece.  “It took a really long time,” she said, “about four hours for each circle.  Another one of her pieces won the Principal’s Award, which was a landscape.  “I’m inspired by everything around me,” she said.

Second place was Devon Poling for a ceramics piece. “It took [a span of] three to four weeks,” said Poling.  It is a terra cotta piece.  “I wanted [the glaze] to just be floaty and [the colors to] go together,” he said.  He was inspired to make it geometric.  “I was going for something different… [It was] one of the first pieces I did, and I was really shocked that I got second place,” said Poling.  The show for the high school students is often full of exciting moments for students like this who may not realize their full potential.

Third place was Katy Trattles for a graphite portrait.  “The piece is a torn up face with mechanics,” said Trattles.  “It represents an anxiety disorder and how anything can go wrong at any time.”  This was Trattles’s first award in the Carnegie and she has shown in the high school exhibition for three years.

Anthony Fund received best in show for a watercolor piece.  Leah Crooks, Hailey Runyon, Cruz Galvan and Lashay Thurmond received the Principal’s Award and will have their artwork hung in the high school.  Crooks’s piece was a landscape inspired by Maine.  “I visited there last summer,” she said.  It took her about three weeks.  “I’ve been in the show [for four years],” said Crooks.  She has previously won the Director’s Award as well, so she has one of her artworks in the Carnegie Center’s permanent collection, another award the Carnegie offers to student artists.  This wonderful honor went to Lauren Berneking this year, who is sixteen years old and now already has a piece in a permanent gallery collection, a huge accomplishment.  Her bowl thrown on the pottery wheel won this award.  “I was surprised and really excited about it,” said Berneking. “It took a lot of hard work learning to throw on the wheel,” she said.  “I took a whole week just learning how to [center the clay], and would just throw a bowl and then reuse it.”  Her favorite part of her piece is the glaze she used, and the way that only two colors turned into several on her piece.

In total there were 33 awards this year, the most that have been given at the Celebration of the Visual Arts.  This was Ashley Eby’s last year as TRHS’s art teacher, and she was honored at the end of the awards ceremony by Grubbs, who described everyone at the Carnegie as a family.  “This show was significant to me because the seniors this year were freshmen when I started, so I’ve seen their progression,” said Eby.  She said it was bittersweet because it was her last year, “but it’ll be amazing to see all the new beginnings for [my] students in the future.”

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Carnegie Center Celebration of the Visual Arts