Popular high school art show offers 'element of surprise'

Contact Reporterhbridges@vagazette.com
Williamsburg Contemporary Art Center's latest exhibit highlights local high school talent

Like many high school seniors, Catherine Page, 18, feels overwhelmed and uncertain of the future.

The Jamestown High School student has channeled these feelings into a series of photographs.

The pieces, "Unsteady" and "Not Ready," recently took third place overall at Williamsburg Contemporary Art Center's 13th annual High School Student Show.

Page's work joins a collection of 141 pieces from 110 area students lining the gallery's walls, a collage of creative energy and artistic maturity.

"It seems to just get stronger and stronger all the time," said Karen Schwartz, the show's coordinator.

Art teachers from the six area high schools, Bruton, Jamestown, Lafayette, Warhill, Walsingham and Williamsburg Christian Academy, selected pieces from their respective schools for the show. Brian Kreydatus, an associate professor at the College of William and Mary, judged the pieces, distributing 26 awards.

In addition to Page's work, first prize went to Chrisanthi Prassas, 16, of Warhill High School, and second prize to Noelle Hutton of Warhill.

Chrisanthi's award-winning body of work included graphite self-portrait "Untitled," a watercolor "Fairytale" and acrylic portrait "oh no!"

After the awards ceremony Wednesday evening, Chrisanthi expressed shock at winning first place. "I'm really ecstatic," said the high school junior.

This is her second year displaying art in the show. "It's a really great way to show that young people have a lot of talent, too," Chrisanthi said. "And a lot of drive to do what they love."

"It's a good experience for them," Schwartz said. "And it's nice for our community to see what our kids can do."

Tempy Barbru, the center's executive director, praised the variety of this year's show, which includes mixed media, ceramic, charcoal, pastel and much more.

The high school show continues to be one of the center's consistently popular exhibits.

Why? "I think it's an element of surprise," Barbru said.

"These kids are so inventive, so creative," she continued. "I continue to be really awestruck by the imagination that's in these young minds."

Bridges can be reached by phone at 757-275-4934.

Want to go?

When: 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday, and 1-5 p.m., Sunday. Show runs through Feb. 19.

Where: Williamsburg Contemporary Art Center, 219 N. Boundary St.

More info: 757-229-4949, thiscenturyartgallery.org.

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