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On Display: Youth Art Month

On Display: Youth Art Month

Written by Kaitlin Hill

This month marks National Youth Art Month, and we are celebrating with the help of talented local high school students. There is no question that, as Highland 11th grader Rileigh Dydo says succinctly, “Art is an expression of the mind.” From emotion-evoking photography to an exquisite, painted portrait, students from Foxcroft, Wakefield, and Highland showcase their skills and share why art is so important to them in this collection of thought-provoking pieces. ML

I created this piece to showcase people’s true smiles when laughing. A lot of times people are just smiling for the camera in photos and it never captures their full and true smile. With this project I wanted to show people that their true smiles may be different than the ones in photos, but they can be even better. One of my favorite photos of myself was taken when I was laughing, so I wanted to spread the love and show them theirs.” — Rocky Cole, 12th Grade, Foxcroft 

“I decided to draw this because it depicts one of the happiest memories of my life; it reminds me of a trip I took to a small town in Slovakia (called Bardejov) when I was younger. This town is so charming and exquisite to me now, but as a child all I noticed was the colors. I chose to use oil pastels to imitate the simplicity of my younger self’s vision, and the bright colors represent the nostalgic recollection I have of this town. This image is very straightforward, and there is not a lot of room for interpretation; however, the viewer can agree with my piece by reminiscing on their own childhood memories and nostalgia associated with the bright colors that I incorporated in this painting.” Bronte Broadwell, 10th Grade, Foxcroft 

In this work, I explore the concept of life’s lessons through the act of braiding hair. Each strand represents a unique experience or challenge that we encounter. Just as my mother carefully braids my hair, life weaves together these lessons to shape us. It’s a powerful metaphor for resilience, growth, and the beauty of embracing life’s ups and downs.” Lema S., 12th Grade, Foxcroft

“I was inspired by Picasso’s style of breaking apart a flat surface in order to show multiple angles at the same time.” — Tess F., 8th Grade, Wakefield

“Art is important to me because it is my escape from reality. When I do any form of art it melts away all my problems and puts me into my own world where I can control everything. Art has also helped me a lot with moderating my emotions by allowing me to express what I’m feeling in my drawings.” Denise de Leon, 11th Grade, Highland

“Art is the expression of the mind.” Rileigh Dydo, 11th Grade, Highland

“Art is important to me because it allows me to showcase emotions through the power of color rather than [expressing them] through words that can get lost in translation.” James Cooper, 12th Grade, Highland 

— Micah B., 9th Grade, Wakefield

“Photography is important to me because it allows me to capture the beauty of a single moment and share it with others.” Libby Puchalla, 12th Grade, Wakefield 

“Photography is important to me because it provides me with a creative outlet that I would not otherwise be able to simulate. It allows me to look back in time and remember everything I was feeling in that moment.” Lexi van der Woude, 12th Grade, Wakefield 

“As someone who wants to pursue a photography career, I have found myself obsessed with telling a story through photography and giving a photograph life and emotion. Photography is important to me because I want to tell the stories of the little and forgotten things. Stories need to be preserved and shared, and photography allows me to do so. It enables us to stop time and share a moment with the world.” Brandon Rutherford, 12th Grade, Wakefield

This botanical mural was a collaborative project led by Wakefield’s Lower School art teacher, Mrs. Jones, after their second graders took a field trip to the National Botanic Gardens in Washington, D.C. This creation was in support of their studies on the difference between organic and geometric shapes.

Published in the March 2024 issue of Middleburg Life.

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