Take time to take in the joy



By Marilyn Delk

The walls of the Anna Bier Gallery are currently filled with colorful works of art created by Darke County elementary and middle school students from Ansonia, Bradford, Franklin-Monroe, Greenville, Mississinawa Valley, Versailles, and DeColores Montessori schools; if you need a dose of joy, stop by the Gallery during its open hours this Sunday between 12 noon and 2 p.m. (or contact Anna Bier Gallery director CeCelia Rice about viewing at another time.) Regardless of the weather, you will leave feeling the exuberant exhilaration of spring. Following is a sampling of what you will find in this happy place, sorted from kindergarten students to eighth graders.

Sarah Steinbrunner’s mixed media creation of a rainbow behind puffy happy clouds could serve as a fitting metaphor for the entire exhibit, symbolic of the joy inspired, as is the quirky drawing by Norah Pleiman of a cute little girl in front of a background of rainbow colors. In an entirely different vein, Emily Paden’s playful picture of a platypus adorned by pebbles also fills the viewer with delight.

More delight is evoked in an innovative view of an adorable koala bear created by Paisley Billenstein with the image strikingly extending outside the edges of its margins. Mikayla Mowery’s winter landscape warms the soul while also displaying an impressive understanding of perspective, while McKinlee Miller’s sweetly dangerous alligator hungrily eyeing fireflies induces an amused smile from the viewer.

A luscious array of well-executed ice cream cones by Ayden Weinstock evokes the desire to have a taste. Cheyanne Garner’s starry night cityscape wonderfully illustrates happy buildings that could easily illustrate a children’s book, as could Braxten Seman’s colorful and imaginative rendering of a parrot.

Deep colors utilized by Colson Campbell create a three-dimensional effect in a dramatic watercolor painting, while Finley Schmitmeyer uses watercolor and marker to actively portray a sense of action in a remarkable rendering of an adorable dog. The work of Claude Monet is beautifully referenced by Shelby Austen in a mixed media picture of a bridge and water lilies.

October Apple takes viewers into the far-off realms of outer space with a picture of an astronaut dangling outside a rocket ship. Several students re-created their own rooms in their works, including Nathan Riffle who features fish tanks in his impressive drawing. Emma Schorst’s print in pink invites further inspection as it prettily depicts a cityscape with boats, a bridge, and tall buildings.

Lauren Dickey dramatically uses color in a richly-rendered piece featuring plump pumpkins while Bristol Wombold’s work utilizes an excellent sense of perspective in a fetching depiction of a bedroom. An appealing parrot by Jade Steen also displays an excellent sense of proportion, as well as captivating color.

Kamryn Blackwell’s striking watercolor of tall tree trunks standing in the snow shows a remarkable understanding of depth and shadow, as does Ralpheal Bayno’s colored pencil drawing of wolves in front of an appealing red barn and inviting farmhouse Aaliya Kenworthy’s drawing of owls in stark black and white offers an intriguing study of design and perspective, while a neatly done scratch art piece of sprightly blooming flowers by Margaret Schmitmeyer surprisingly brightens the spirit in spite of being created in black.

Reagan Flora’s colorful hummingbird seems to come to vibrant life as one takes it in, while a paper mache Nike shoe by Lilly Canan could be mistaken for — well, a real shoe. Jack Ballard has drawn a lovely, fascinating circle depicting phases of the moon that demands further inspection.

A well-done blue jay created by Hilda Rodriguez-Garcia displays immense artistic skill. A visually enticing abstract piece by Rene Hernandez features intense color, while Ian Norris’s impressive portrait of a handsome young man emits an appealing sense of introspection and accessibility.

Anna Bier Gallery’s Elementary Art Show is a source of hope, of faith in a future populated by the creators of the inspirational work on display. Check it out; you’ll be happy you did. For more information, contact Gallery Director CeCelia Rice at [email protected] or 937-564-7568. The Anna Bier Gallery is located within historic Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall, 215 West Fourth Street, Greenville.

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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