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Student artists shine in spotlight

Friends, family and faculty enjoyed artwork by Suffolk students from across the city displayed at the Old Dominion University Tri-Cities Center on Tuesday night.

The ninth annual Suffolk Public School Art Show held its grand opening on the second floor with light refreshments and more than three dozen art pieces by Suffolk Public Schools middle and high school students. This exhibit will remain on display through the semester, and elementary art will be featured in the spring semester.

Art teachers select student art to showcase as many young artists as possible. Ellen McClintock, enrollment services specialist and master adviser at ODU Tri-Cities Center, said the exhibit showcases Suffolk’s talented students while also bringing attention to the center itself.

“It’s a win-win situation for everybody,” McClintock said.

One of the winners was Camdyn Stuffel, a seventh-grader at John Yeates Middle School and one of more than 100 students at the school who contributed on the collaborative project hanging in the upstairs hallway on Tuesday evening.

JYMS art teacher Cynthia O’Hara used a “zentangle” approach that allowed each student to craft a uniquely-patterned square. Combined on paper and with further fine tuning, the final image is of the school’s Charger mascot with the slogan “every Charger, every day.”

It will eventually hang in the cafeteria for the whole school to see daily.

“It was a collaborative project to help build morale for our school,” O’Hara said.

Beside that piece was one of Camdyn’s own making: a colorful contradiction of different plants drawn on paper in bright green, pink and orange. She’s been practicing her creativity like this in her own time for years, much to her mother Sara Stuffel’s delight.

“She draws or does something almost every day, even just on her own time at the house,” Stuffel said at the opening Tuesday evening. “It’s cool to see it come to something like this, where we can share it.”

O’Hara said the art show offers a huge confidence boost for young artists who may be unsure or insecure about their artwork.

“It’s good for them to see that what they’re doing makes people happy, that it brings joy to other people and it brings joy to them,’ she said.