Public school artists proudly represented

Published 10:23 pm Thursday, April 26, 2018

The creativity of talented young artists in Suffolk Public Schools was unveiled Tuesday at the Superintendent’s Art Show.

One piece of art from each school was selected to hang in the district’s administrative office for one year. Parents and teachers admired the work of local youth that varied wildly in design and style.

“I’m very pleased to see parents support their students’ interest in the arts,” Superintendent Deran Whitney said. “We realize the importance of it. It encompasses the whole child, and it’s a big part of their education.”

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Students drew colorful pyramids topped by unicorns and swimming rainbow fish. Some crafted striking photo collages, and others used rich textures.

“I love that they’re able to put their creativity into artwork,” Northern Shores Elementary School Principal Lori White said. “It’s another avenue for the students to show the world who they are.”

Nansemond River High School fine arts teacher Brian Kershasky selected junior Jared Vargas and his surreal self portait. Kershasky said he’s seen Jared’s skills improve with each new piece.

“His artwork has come to a level where I’m super excited for him, and I just couldn’t wait to get his artwork on the wall,” Kershasky said.

Art teacher Janette Belote of Northern Shores Elementary School, where she’s called “Ms. Art,” raved about her student Olivia Hodsden’s work in monoprint, in which a single impression is made from a reprintable block.

“I try to do this with my talented art students, and this girl is just so good at this,” Belote said.

Olivia, 10, has a penchant for drawing cats. One of her contest submissions was called “Sometimes You Just Need a Colorful Cat,” and when her class was tasked with recreating the Mona Lisa, hers ended up with whiskers.

“I’ve always just had this love for cats,” Olivia said. “It’s my favorite animal.”

Her mother, Lisa Hodsden, said Olivia has always had an artistic itch and that their house is filled in papers of her work.

“It’s really cool to see how she’s develop through the art classes and the different mediums,” Hodsden said.