Expressing themselves beautifully


The current Anna Bier Gallery Annual High School exhibit featuring the work of students from all Darke County and Greenville City Schools radiates positive energy, demonstrating the artists’ self-confident ability to express themselves through their art.

The exhibit opens tonight at 6 p.m., with presentation of awards at 7 p.m.; while all of the works cannot win ribbons, all are deserving of recognition.

Several portraits grace the gallery walls, including an intriguing charcoal drawing by Greenville senior Marabelle Lance appropriately entitled “Contemplation,” showing a pensive girl, chin in hand, whose direct gaze invites further consideration by the viewer, as does “Self-Reflection,” a lovely self-portrait created by Jada Garland, also a senior at Greenville. Lily Stiefel, another G.H.S. twelfth-grader, has drawn a fascinating portrait of an attractive young man whose straightforward gaze inspires the desire to strike up a lively conversation.

“Sebastian” by Ansonia senior Taytum Nelson depicts a handsome blue-eyed man gazing out from his portrait. Less conventional portraits are also quite striking, including an untitled piece by McKenna Obringer, a sophomore from Ansonia, using black and pink acrylic paint on cardboard to show two appealing guys having a good time.

In a portrait of a different kind, Mississinawa Valley twelfth-grader Elijah Livingston used sweeping confident brush strokes to paint a “Cow” with an amazingly expressive face. Abbygail Sutton, a Greenville tenth-grader, skillfully used itty-bitty strips of paper to depict a “Lion” in unexpected colors, blues blending seamlessly with tans, beiges, and whites to seem life-like. Using a different medium for a similar purpose, Greenville senior Shelby Hermann utilized stained glass for “Colorfully Fierce,” her brilliant portrait of a lion.

Brianna Smedley masterfully created the illusion of depth and movement in a paper collage depicting a deer emerging from a leafy forest; Felicity Lance’s collage, “Llama So Lovely” is a delightful image of a sprightly flower-bedecked llama. Both of these students are Greenville tenth-graders. Ansonia junior Brock Shellhaas commands intellectual engagement with his untitled imaginative photographic entry featuring a split human profile revealing a cityscape, seagulls, and more.

Greenville junior Gloria Harrison evokes the “Star Gazer” of her title in a scratch-art piece which masterfully communicates the joy of lazily scrutinizing the heavens. Hailee Baker, a Bradford sophomore, achieves a totally different effect in the same medium with intriguing swirling lines busily capturing attention in an untitled piece. Also demanding scrutiny is “Optical Illusion,” a pen and ink grid composition by F-M freshman Rosie Medrano, which upon examination somehow assumes a fascinating third dimension.

Complex zentangles demanding close examination for their captivating design include an alluring elephant figure outlined in turquoise by Ashley Plessinger, a Bradford tenth-grader. Some three-dimensional pieces also feature wild animals; Franklin-Monroe sophomore Rileigh Vance created a whimsical papier mache sloth clinging to a real tree branch, while Versailles freshman Paige Yerick deftly evokes Disney’s The Lion King in a tribal-design-adorned mask of an African antelope.

A lovely ceramic vase in inviting shades of blue by Franklin-Monroe senior Ethan Conley demands notice, as does a set of four graceful cups decorated in a delicate floral design by Mississinawa tenth-grader Sandy Padilla. Junior Coden Goins of Franklin-Monroe utilized shades of copper and blue to form a pretty ceramic box featuring bolts and gears, while “Atmospheric Skull,” an enticingly jaunty ceramic piece by Ansonia senior Odin Zeller, captivates the senses. Franklin-Monroe senior Kevin Bankroft has created “Ceramic Sgraffito Plate With Tree,” a dramatic wall plaque featuring a stunning tree in mirror image.

All these plus many more amazing works await your attention! The Anna Bier Gallery, located within Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall, will be open 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, May 11 in conjunction with Darke County Center for the Arts’ Ruby Celebration featuring Toledo Symphony Orchestra. The art can be viewed every day by appointment; to arrange an appointment or a tour, contact Gallery Director Tamera McNulty at 937-564-5863; all exhibits at the Anna Bier Gallery are free and open to the public.

By Marilyn Delk


Marilyn Delk is the former executive director of the Darke County Center for the Arts and can be reached at [email protected]. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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