Such was the case for 16-year-old Gabriel Hatton who was stuck on what to do to put in the Port Angeles Fine Arts Centers show featuring student artists from across Clallam County.
A friend of mine found this horse on the beach and gave it to me, Hatton said, referring to a clay-colored horse, about two feet long.
Hatton painted it, made wings out of old T-shirts that he starched until they were stiff and decided to put it on a long wooden pole nearly as tall as himself.
This just kind of came out of it, said Hatton, a Sequim High School student who has been in the show every year since its inception.
It is that kind of creativity that PAFAC education director Barbara Slavik was hoping to arouse when she created Portfolio, the centers student art show, three years ago.
Ive worked with high school and middle school students for the past 10 years, Slavik explained. I thought itd be nice to feature Clallam County students at the center.
Each year, Slavik asks the art teachers from several Clallam County high schools, including Port Angeles, Sequim, Crescent and Quillayute, to recommend their top students. Slavik said she requests students that their teachers believe are serious about art and are considering pursuing it in the future.
Slavik looks through the portfolios of those students and chooses about 20. She then works with those students for about three months on art projects they create specifically for the show. During weekly drop-ins to each school, Slavik serves as a mentor and critic and guides the students in their projects.
All the work culminates into this exhibition and it gives the students some professional experience, Slavik said. It gives them a chance to work with a gallery.
Peninsula-area businesses pitch in for the event, including Karons Frame Center, whose employees agreed to mat any paintings or photographs, and Olympic Stationers, which donated art supplies for the students.
A newcomer to the show, Sequim Community School senior Frankie Maybury, 18, said he is excited to see his work at the gallery just dont ask him to interpret the meaning of it.
I dont like to write down a meaning, I like people to take away what they want from a picture, Maybury wrote next to one of his drawings. Like a joke its not funny if you have to explain it.
The student pieces will debut at the center on May 18 with an opening reception and will remain there for nearly two months.
Im glad the exhibit will be there for an extended period of time so people will have a chance to really see them, Slavik said. I think people will be surprised at how wonderful the work is. These kids really are the cream of the crop.
Who: Art students from high schools around Clallam County, including seven from Sequim High School, and the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center
What: Portfolio 2008, a student art show
When: Opening reception from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, May 18; exhibit open through July 6. PAFAC hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday
Where: Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, 1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd, Port Angeles
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