VTica features student artwork

Shannon Parker, VTica director of operations, with works by Jasmine Currier on the left Carmen Mena on the right./Photo by Cynthia Prairie

On the cover: From left, artwork by Hannah Potter, Nicole Wright, Casey Savage and an unidentified student.

by Stephen Seitz

Green Mountain Union High School art students are getting a chance to spread their wings this week at a special exhibit at the Vermont Institute of Contemporary Arts in Chester. The institute specializes in abstract and contemporary works.
“She’s been painting for a few years,” said Todd Currier, whose daughter, Jasmine, has an abstract painting, among others, on display. “We even bought her a new easel to make her painting easier.”
Art in the blood is not unusual in the Currier family, he added. “My grandmother was a painter,” he said.
Institute director Abby Raeder said she always intended to bring local students into the gallery.
“When I visited (Principal Tom Ferenc), he wanted to know how the high school would be involved. He said, ‘If you go into most high schools, the first thing you see is a case full of trophies. But ours is an art gallery.’ He said the arts are important. So we asked for student shows twice a year.”

Art teacher Ethan Lima is in charge of the student project.
“We wanted to show their work,” Lima said. “I encouraged the students to experiment and take chances. We took a trip to the gallery and talked to Abby. It’s good that the students are showing their work alongside professional artists.”
No one is harder on the results than the students themselves, Lima added.
“They’re their own worst critic,” he said. “You ask them, and they’ll say, ‘No, it’s crap.’ They need to realize other people have an opinion. This was a really good class.”

Besides Jasmine, the other students whose works are on display are Jannie Hale, Andrea Anderez, Tamsin Holley, Hannah Potter, Casey Savage, Carmen Mena, Tyler Petrycki, Nicole Write and Kate Amsden.
A few of the students decided to imitate the Pop Art great Andy Warhol, known for, among many other works, his interpretations of common commercial objects such as Campbell soup cans.
“I had them do labels on cans,” Lima said. “I wanted something interesting that they could paint.”
Raeder said the paintings show talent.
“The close-up of the parrot’s eye in incredibly interesting,” she said. “Some of these (students) work incredibly well with color.”
Interest in art among the local students seems to be growing, Raeder said.
“I’m amazed at the number of kids who just come in,” she said. “Mothers come in with their kids. It’s wonderful to have people come in just to enjoy the space.”
The student work and current exhibits will be on display through Sunday, April 1, when the institute plans to close for a few weeks to prepare for its grand opening on May 1. VTica is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
More information about the institute can be found at www.vtica.org.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeFeatured

About the Author: Steve Seitz is an author, journalist and film critic based in Springfield,VT. He has reported local news in the Upper Connecticut River Valley for many years. Steve has been interviewed on NPR's "The Story" for his knowledge of cinematic music. He also has interviewed such cinematic luminaries as James Earl Jones, Jerry Lewis, James Whitmore, Matthew Lewis ("Neville Longbottom" from the Harry Potter films), and an original cast member from every "Star Trek" series, among many others. He is working on other novels.

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