High schools showcase art at SSU


After the recent reopening of the Appleton Gallery at Shawnee State University, local high school students are back and showing off their skills and talents in a show coordinated by local educator and community leader Sharee Price.

The annual “Visually Literate” High School Art Exhibition opened on May 3 and will run through May 16. It is open to the public during regular business hours.

Local high schools were permitted to submit up to 15 pieces, from which Judge Dr. Isabel Graziani, of Shawnee State University, selected 50 pieces of work – both 2D and 3D – to be included in the show.

Artwork was submitted by students from Clay, East, Green, Minford, New Boston, Northwest, Oak Hill, Portsmouth, South Webster, Valley, West, and Wheelersburg school districts.

“I think this is a great opportunity and I thank Shawnee State for welcoming us and allowing us to arrange this showcase. For a lot of students, this is the first time they’ve shown their work publicly in a professional venue,” Price explained. “The students work very hard to create their artwork, and showcasing their work can be very vulnerable, but, if they’re going to continue in the field of art, it is an important situation to acquaint themselves with and this gives them the opportunity to learn.”

The show has seven categories, including black and white drawing, color drawing, painting, sculpture, mixed media, ceramics, and graphic arts.

Students will also participate in a closing reception, which is also free and open to the public, and will be held on Tuesday, May 16, in the lobby of the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts starting at 5:30 p.m.

The Portsmouth High School Jazz Band will be performing in the lobby while guests view the artwork in the Appleton Gallery. There will also be a display and video featuring the portraits that were created for this year’s Memory Project. The Awards Ceremony will begin at 6:00 p.m.

Students who participated in The Memory Project this year will also be recognized during the reception and awards for the Visually Literate Show will be announced.

“I think that we have some amazing young artists in our schools, and I give a lot of credit to the teachers who are helping them hone their skills,” Price said.

This event is coordinated by Price, who works at South Central Ohio Educational Service Center. The event was made possible thanks to William and Barbara Burke, DESCO Federal Credit Union, Glockner Enterprises, Gary and Marilyn Hairston, Drs. Raj and Reshma Kataria, Portsmouth Area Arts Council, Rotary Club of Portsmouth, Scioto Foundation, Shawnee Art and Hobby Supplies, Shawnee State University, SOMC, and University of Rio Grande.

SSU professor Chuck Davis recently organized his own gallery in the Appleton for SSU students and was present during the opening of the gallery. The professor says he is impressed with the work and believes many have a future in the arts.

“Sharee does a great job organizing and curating the exhibition,” Davis said. “The exhibition gives area high school students a wonderful opportunity to showcase their artistic talents in one of the most recognized venues in the region, the Appleton Gallery at the Verne Riffe Center for the Arts. This year’s exhibition is once again an excellent example of painting, illustration and various other art mediums. It will not disappoint. I hope to see several of these students pursue their art degrees at Shawnee State University.”

Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

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