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Overwhelming number of submissions for teen juried exhibit


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Photo by Wanda Jackson. Teens, their parents and art patrons packed the opening of Montpelier’s teen juried exhibition on March 10.

Photo by Wanda Jackson. Teens, their parents and art patrons packed the opening of Montpelier’s teen juried exhibition on March 10.

Published on: Friday, March 22, 2013

By Wanda Jackson

It was just about the last place you would expect to see a room full of teenagers, especially on a sunny Sunday.  

But, at the Montpelier Arts Center in Laurel, teenagers along with their parents and friends packed the Resident Art Gallery during the official opening of “Artists on the Rise: A Teen Juried Exhibition” on March 10.

“It’s  your Time to Shine” touted Montpelier’s early-year call for entries. And, in response, the arts center received an overwhelming number of works submitted by 13- to 18-year-olds attending public, private and home schools in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

The exhibition, on display through March 28, features 51 works in diverse mediums including digital photo, oil, mixed media, graphite, photography, charcoal, aluminum, modeling clay and earthenware.

Photo by Wanda Jackson. Yasmin Phillip fields questions from onlookers about her digital photo titled "Soaring Fish."

Photo by Wanda Jackson. Yasmin Phillip fields questions from onlookers about her digital photo titled "Soaring Fish."

Yasmin Phillip’s photo titled “Soaring Fish” is an onlooker’s opportunity to get up-close and personal with colorful and exotic tropical fish on view in the Atlantic Coral Reef exhibit at Baltimore’s National Aquarium.

Phillip took a series of photos, but she chose her entry “mainly because it gives the illusion of movement.”

“The fish is in focus, but everything else behind it is blurred. It looks as if the fish is moving,” said Phillip, who is homeschooled and attends Cedar Brook Academy.

Phillip has not decided whether she will pursue digital photography as a career, but she is leaning toward “something in the arts in general.”

“I love taking pictures of nature,” said Phillip, who also enjoys music, painting and drawing.

Across the room, a pencil and chalk portrait titled “Kenna” looked oddly familiar. The “model” was standing inches from the work and chuckled as her best friend and artist Lauren Smith talked about their collaboration.

“At school, we have to make a body of work by April. I chose to focus on portraits, and this is one of the pieces that will be shown at school,” said Smith, a senior at Flint Hill School in Northern Virginia.

Smith asked her models to sit for portraits, explaining, “I try to avoid using  photographs because it’s a lot better to see direct observation.”

For her exhibited work, Smith chose a pensive mood.

“We wanted to make it look like she’s (very engaged in) looking at something; she’s by a window so you can see what’s going on outside,” Smith said.

Smith is planning to pursue a career in the arts. She already is weighing scholarship offers to attend the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y., or School of the Art Institute in Chicago.

The teen juried exhibition was judged by Georgia Deal, professor at the Corcoran College of Art and Design, and Laurel Lukaszewski, a Washington, D.C.-based artist.

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