The Anna Bier Gallery is filled with exuberant expressions of creativity, providing a joyful experience for all those who partake of the current works on display in the Gallery’s second annual Elementary Art Exhibit. All local schools were invited to take part; those who participated are DeColores Montessori, Greenville, St. Marys, and Versailles. Home-schooled students’ work is also included.
The colorful array includes some startlingly skillful work as well as captivatingly imaginative pieces; the following narrative is arranged by grade level, as is the show. Kindergartner Ashlyn Gibson’s “Red Cardinal” brings to mind the work of famed Cincinnati artist Charley Harper; the title bird, cut out of paper, sits against a wispy lavender background dotted with snowflakes. Sadie Schilling’s “Winter Penguin” is similar in style, the jaunty black and white title figures sporting multi-colored earmuffs and mittens standing out against a striped background.
Several first graders created inventive abstract pieces featuring geometric shapes artfully arranged, including Leah Rindler’s “Shapes In the Sun,” Megan Timmerman’s “Shapes at Sunset,” and Sofia Royer’s “Shape Jumble.” Claire Poeppleman’s whimsical “Winter Moose” seems to be looking back at the viewer as he stands before a row of trees; Troy Gehret’s evocative “African Mud Huts” realistically re-creates three charming thatched-roof huts under a blazing sun.
Second graders’ creations also riffing on shapes and color include Tara Seger’s “Dancing Shapes,” Caleb Miller’s “Crazy Shapes,” and Conner Feldner’s “Rainbow Picasso.” “Painted Paper Trees” by Drew Porter happily depicts red, orange, and brown leaves adorning a shapely tree trunk while Xander Jones’ “Jack-O-Lantern” offers an appealing sad pumpkin-face in shades of apricot, blue, green, yellow, and orange. “Nbebele House” by Kyra Bergman shows a cheerfully inviting indigenous dwelling decorated with brightly-rendered traditional figures.
“Snowman Personality” by third-grader Kayla Jay happily smiles and winks from an innovative perspective; Nola Miley’s “Wytske the Stallion” exudes equine personality. Trina Tuente created a striking “Fall Silhouette” showing tissue paper leaves in pretty shades of pink falling from a silhouetted tree. Scarlet McNulty’s sparkling “Space Bubbles” offers fascinating composition in beautiful shades of blue.
Simply drawn on brown paper, “African Masai Figure” by fourth grader Kayla Magoto elegantly portrays its title subject. Ava Rismiller’s “Bird House,” decorated with a sign declaring “Home Tweet Home,” inspires smiles with its inspired humor. Charlie Hunkin’s adorable reindeer exhibits a great deal of character as he quizzically looks back at the viewer.
Fifth grade student Zachary Ward used historical form to illuminate the Letter Z while also delightfully utilizing modern components; in “Positive Negative Nativity” Haley Mescher cleverly juxtaposes white and black in a paper cutout featuring a creche scene. Rachael Wright penciled a basket filled with pumpkins and squash sitting on a table while Brooklyn Kreusch drew the same subject utilizing fruit rather than vegetables; both of these works demonstrate skill with shading and shadow.
In “Graffiti City,” sixth grader Jeremy Reece amazingly demonstrates dimension and perspective using only pencil and paper; “Multi-Media Nature” by Kaden Starkey incorporates pebbles and dirt into a colorful tableau of natural wonders. Liam Jasenski has executed a fascinating abstract subtly reflecting Asian influences while Tyler Barga’s “Donuts” realistically displays icing and sprinkles perkily topping the delectable title subjects.
Three-dimensional artworks are judged separately from the two-dimensional pieces, and not categorized by grade level. Elijah Bowers crafted “Sitting In the Jungle,” using faux flora and fauna to create a world in a box while Ella Bowers’ “Winter Wonderland” is a lighted piece featuring silvery pine cones. Madison Billig’s simple “Modern House” shows insight and imagination while Tessa Beatty’s “Swan Paradise” is an extravaganza of paper-folding expertise.
This creative outpouring of wonder will open with an Awards Presentation on Sunday, Feb. 10, and will remain on display at the Anna Bier Gallery through March 21. The Elementary Art Exhibit 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.
Marilyn Delk is the former executive director of the Darke County Center for the Arts and can be reached at email@example.com. 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.