Portsmouth High School celebrated their second annual Winter Art Showcase this year, under the direction of art teacher April Deacon. The gallery was hosted in the high school library and showcased over 150 pieces from all over the gamut of art, with participants from Deacon’s Art I, drawing, sculpture and AP classes
The Art I students had work based around early skills involving shading and color theory. The sculpture class had three-dimensional work involving clay pieces and paper sculpture. The drawing class submitted pieces in many different mediums, including graphite, charcoal and ink. The AP students were set free and worked independently to come up with their own projects.
The art gallery is also hosted on the night of a Portsmouth City School Board of Education meeting, where Deacon recognizes the board members and also has her students give them gifts for board appreciation month.
The showcase began two years ago, when Superintendent Scott Dutey requested the art classes produce a public gallery
“We do a lot of competitive art shows. We do the county art shows and we have students that participate in high school shows at Rio Grande and OU Southern, but I thought it would be good to take the competition out of it and just celebrate everyone who is creating.”
There is also a special collaborative piece in the show that was made by Deacon’s high school art club, her sculpture class and the junior high students.
“We have three large-scale pop art sculptures on display,” Deacon said. “The sculpture students and junior high students sculpted words out of wire and then either wrapped them in fabric or ribbon. They are kind of like word bubbles that are attached to one of three cardboard structures, a heart, a mouth or a brain. The words they chose were words that they wanted to encourage in others, like ‘listen’ and ‘courage’ and ‘love’ and ‘faith’.”
Destiny Campbell, 17, is a senior and has been in an art class every year that she has attended PHS.
“Because I take AP art, I had to make a series that goes together,” Campbell explained. “I have four self-portraits that are made of india ink, which are all expressive, so they’re very sketchy; I also have another self portrait of india ink, which is very clear; and an artist trading card that I made bigger of myself.”
India ink is a calligraphy style artwork involving a special calligraphy pen. Campbell used this style for her displayed work. Her process started with photographs of herself, where she said that she didn’t pose for the photo, but acted out various expressions.
“My work is focused on emotions, so my photos weren’t just a straight face or smile,” Campbell said. “In some of them I am frowning or I’m confused. We get the picture of the emotions and I sketch it out on board before I go over it in ink. It’s just very sketchy and emotional. I also only used black, blue and yellow ink, so it isn’t like I’m blending colors or anything.”
Olivia Young, 16, is a junior at PHS and is in her third art class. Young had six pieces in the show with a focus on animals.
“I tried to catch the emotions of animals with different colors to bring out their feelings,” Young said. “I used different animals around my house, so I had a connection to them already. I used different color backgrounds on them to show how they felt.”
Young’s work included portraiture of a rabbit, horses and a bird.
“I kind of feel bad for other teachers sometimes who don’t have that visual outlet, because it is so nice to have the community come in and see what the kids have worked really hard on and with everything matted, it just looks so nice,” Deacon said.