Livingston Arts’ scholastic art shines light on young artists

Livingston Arts opened “This Art is Your Art,” a scholastic exhibition, on Saturday April 1. The show consists exclusively of high school artists from all over Livingston County, two of which will be awarded a $200 scholarship at the closing ceremony on April 29. (Annalee Bainnson/Assoc. Photo Editor)

Livingston Arts debuted their latest show, “This Art is Your Art,” on Saturday April 1 in its New Deal and Apartment One galleries. The show exhibits the work of high school artists from across the Genesee Valley area and strives to promote the work of these student artists and to encourage the development of their portfolios. 

Each piece was judged and awarded one of four types of prizes offered: best in show, first place, second place and special award. Each work won at least one prize. In addition, two $200 prizes will be awarded to “students pursuing an arts-related field in college” at a closing reception on April 29. 

This scholastic show comes directly after the Livingston Arts’ members’ exhibition, which showcases some truly beautiful and innovative pieces. Judging from this current show, Livingston County has some wonderful budding artists who might just join the ranks of those featured in the previous show. 

The range of works in this student show speaks volumes to the art departments within the county. Traditional mediums such as drawing, painting, printmaking and ceramics were present, but the exhibition also featured more modern mediums, such as digital photography and mixed media. Despite recent cuts to the college’s own arts programs, it’s evident that the arts are thriving in the surrounding high schools. 

One standout piece is that of Geneseo Central 11th grader Abby Salvaggio. Salvaggio won a special award for her sculpture, which features two hands protruding from the inside of a wooden box. The hands hold the earth, whose blue and green colors are bleeding down onto the floors of the box, on which are two crunched up plastic bottles. The piece is executed quite professionally, with a clear and intriguing message of the ecological responsibility of humans. 

This theme is also echoed in first prize winner and Avon 12th grader Mira Sprinkle’s painting, which depicts a beautifully realistic earth hanging from an iPhone charger. The cord is about to break, but there are human hands positioned just below the planet, ready to catch it when it falls. 

Sprinkle’s work, too, is so expertly completed, making it a bit hard to believe that a high school student is behind its creation. Sprinkle also had two other pieces in the show, which won first place and best in show.

Other than these more traditional pieces, the show includes a great number of pieces that push our expectations. One such piece is Dansville 12th grader Sakina Tasaddaq’s mixed media piece, which won a first-place prize. The piece is a sort of pop-up book that stands open, revealing layers of ocean waves and a tiny sailboat set against a starry night sky. If closed, this piece would look rather unsuspecting, but when opened, a deeper world is revealed, as if your favorite story has come to life. 

Ninth grader from Wayland-Cohocton Cecilia Kuhn also contributed a fantastic piece. The only fiber art piece, Kuhn’s work could be described as a stuffed animal—or a monster. With an H-shaped body and button eyes, the little creature has very simple facial features—just a small mouth and cheeks. Kuhn has stamped purple patterns on its body: tiny flowers, circles, large loops and blotches. 

Though it may look cute and simple, it’s obvious that a lot of strategy and sewing skills on Kuhn’s part made this piece possible, winning it a first-place prize. 

This exhibition reveals the great amount of creativity and expression that the county’s students have to offer. It is encouraging to see just how much they are capable of. There’s only room for these young artists to grow and someday hold exhibitions of their own.