Local students honored at gallery’s 2023 exhibit

Published 5:56 pm Thursday, February 2, 2023

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The Suffolk Art League, in cooperation with the Suffolk Fine Arts Commission, presents the Exhibit of Excellence: Suffolk Student Art 2032 at the Suffolk Art Gallery, 118 Bosley Ave. 

This juried exhibit features artwork by Suffolk’s 10th, 11th and 12th grade students. The Exhibit of Excellence is on view through Feb. 24.

This year 161 students entered 200 artworks to be juried. Of those, the juror, Clay McGlamory, artist and educator, selected 111 artworks for the exhibit.

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“I was very pleased, upon arriving at the Suffolk Art Gallery, with the quality and number of submissions to the Exhibit of Excellence this year,” McGlamory said. “Jurying an exhibit is always full of hard choices and difficult decisions and I could tell this was going to be another one of those situations.”

Only students who live in or attend school in Suffolk and are in grades 10-12 were eligible to enter. Students included in the exhibit represent Kings Fork, Lakeland and Nansemond River high schools, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy-Upper School, the Governor’s School for the Arts and homeschool.

In addition to selecting the artwork to be included in the exhibit, McGlamory selected 12 artworks to receive awards. 

Best in Show: Olesia Jones, “Birth of the Show Angel,” colored pencil, and “Mangre Adiem at Alter House,” mixed media, Nansemond River High School and Governor’s School for the Arts

First Place: Meredith Edwards, “Evil Twin,” photography, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy

Second Place: Gabriella Federici, “Hangnail,” acrylic nails and mixed media, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy

Third Place: Summer Johnston, “Vertigo,” digital photography, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy

In addition, McGlamory awarded five honorable mentions:

  • Julia Adams, “A Sailor’s Dream,” mixed media, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy
  • Paige Newton, “The Nursery,” mixed media, Nansemond River High School
  • Ethan O’Leary, “Busy Night,” photography, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy
  • Ryan Tabet, “Polarity,” photography, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy
  • Natalie Wheat, “Paradise is a Playground 4 the Devil,” digital art, Nansemond River High School

Four Juror’s Choice Awards were presented for these works of art:

  • Joslyn Delgato, “What’s the Word,” encaustic and mixed media, Kings Fork High School
  • Landon Miller, “All Seeing Eye,” photography, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy
  • Caroline Morgan, “Playtime with Michalene Thomas,” Nansemond-Suffolk Academy

Of his award selections, McGlamory discussed the top award winners. Olesia Jones’ works “both utilized advanced drawing skills in terms of mark making, blending, shading, color choice and artist skill with the chosen medium. I really responded to the surreal quality of both works,” she said.

“Meredith Edwards’ photograph, ‘Evil Twin,’ caught my eye early in the jurying process. The double exposure effect, either created in camera or Photoshop, has a sense of ghostly movement and the subject holds the viewers’ attention with a blank yet ominous stare.”

McGlamory said “Hangnail” by Gabriella Federici is a sculpture made of bright red fake fingernails and painted wood. 

“It comes across as unusual and lyrical at first glance,” she noted. “Then when you realize the materials, you get a bit of an eerie feeling. Finally, the title, ‘Hangnail,’ evokes a feeling that most of us equate with some degree of pain and discomfort, especially for artists and others who rely on the hands and fingers daily.”

She said that Summer Johnston’s work “Vertigo” is a black and white photograph with a very graphic quality. 

“The manner of breaking the image up into dots and lines to simulate tonal areas is similar to the way some fine art and commercial printmaking processes work through pixels and halftone dots,” McGlamory said. “The man who is the subject of this work has a stern, contemplative look about him that was intriguing for me as the viewer.”

The Exhibit of Excellence: Suffolk Student Art is on display at the Suffolk Art Gallery through Feb. 25. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. The gallery is free and open to the public. 

For more information about this and other programs offered by the Suffolk Art League, call 757-925-0448 or visit www.suffolkartleague.com.