Art show shines spotlight on young artists

"Ocular Migraine" by Senior Ricardo Rosales from North Mesquite High School. Photo by Jonathan Wences/The Et Cetera
"Ocular Migraine" by Senior Ricardo Rosales from North Mesquite High School. Photo by Jonathan Wences/The Et Cetera
“Ocular Migraine” by Senior Ricardo Rosales from North Mesquite High School. Photo by Jonathan Wences/The Et Cetera

By Andy Carrizales

Every March, the galleries of Eastfield College host the work of new and upcoming young artists.

The FutureMakers art show is a chance for AP Art students from Mesquite Independent School District to line Eastfield’s walls with their original creations.

Located in gallery F-219, the exhibit will open March 5. A closing reception will take place on March 26 for artists, teachers and art connoisseurs involved in the art show.

The collaboration between the AP Art Program of Mesquite ISD and Eastfield galleries started in 2007. This is the ninth consecutive year Eastfield has hosted the exhibit.

This year, 75 students from MISD high schools will present one art piece.

High school teachers in charge of the AP art classes select work for the show based on the artists’ skills and originality. The MISD art coordinator then gathers the work and sends it to Eastfield gallery director Iris Bechtol for arrangement and installation.

MISD Facilitator of Art and Theatre Laurie Huff said she likes to work on this project because it creates communication between schools.

“[The exhibit] gives the AP students an opportunity to all [present] together,” she said. “This is a way for them to see what some of the other AP students are doing in other campuses besides their own.”

Apart from the conversation created between young Mesquite artists, the exhibit can also launch professional careers in the arts. Manyprevious participants have received university scholarships and grants based on their artwork.

A judge, usually an Eastfield art professor, chooses the three best works at the end of the exhibit. The prizes usually consist of high quality art materials and gift cards for art supply stores.

"Elegance" by Seniro Payton Robertson from Poteet High School. Photo by Jonathan Wences/The Et Cetera
“Elegance” by Seniro Payton Robertson from Poteet High School. Photo by Jonathan Wences/The Et Cetera

Professor David Willburn will select from five sculptures, one ceramic piece, one jewelry piece and 68 two-dimensional works submitted this year. The works are judged based on technique, subject matter and overall execution of the work.

Most of the artwork reflects the artists’ perception of the world. With a large number of individuals participating in a communal show, the breadth of work explores an extensive range of interests.

Mesquite High School student Jose Quinones submitted his piece “Fun and Games.” The colorful print features six identical images of a girl staring disinterestedly at the viewer. Quinones’s piece is reminiscent of the work of Andy Warhol.

Portraiture, still life, and psychological works are always present in student exhibits.

“There’s a lot of work that has… sort of the turmoil of being a teenager, and also [representations of] the world that we live in today,” Bechtol said.

Bechtol doesn’t see the artwork until it is compiled and sent to her for installation. However, this is a practice she enjoys.

“There’s always a really good variety of work, so every year is kind of like a nice, little surprise,” Bechtol said.

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