Pearl Mudd, Henry McMurray, Matia Schwartz, Axel Greening, Emma Heikkinen and Devon Mann are part of a group of Advanced Placement Art students whose work is being displayed at the Madrona Room of the Orcas Center, as part of the exhibit “Places and People”. The art exhibit features local artists as well as the student art, and will be hung in the Madrona Room through February. The exhibit is the first of its kind, and drew attention from the community. Each student artist is eclectic in their creations.
“In my artwork, I usually use a lot of different mixed media. The main component that ties them all together is the presence of some body part made of plaster. I like to incorporate a lot of puns or common phrases and turn them into tangible art pieces,” McMurray said, describing his medium. Lighthearted and funny, while still being beautiful and skillfully crafted, McMurray’s art is sure to bring a smile to your face.
Like McMurray, Greening creates three dimensional pieces. Greening said that he finds inspiration from the “first terrible idea that comes to my mind. From there I find a reason not to do the idea, and it turns into something else. That is how most everything works out. I find this philosophy particularly effective in bronze casting, because just when you think you have cemented a project’s theme and iteration, I find a way to change it. In art, I like to think of every ‘something else’ as a chance to expand my knowledge and practice.”
But what does all this art mean?
“Why does it have to mean anything?” asked Mudd in response to the question “what does it mean?” Emma Heikkinen takes a similar approach by jokingly applying postmodernist theory to her artwork, stating “you decide what it all means.” Heikkinen’s artist’s statement spoofed the postmodernist idea that meaning is ascribed by the audience, rather than the viewer. “Emma Heikkinen had a better artist’s statement last year,” reads her placard.
Matia Schwartz, in a similar vein, stated “through vague definitions of my works, I allow the viewer to see what they choose to in it. The subjects of my artworks either come from my travels or from my memories creating different pieces of my mind or life, generally through paint, ink, or collage.” Schwartz’s style is close to reality, as she creates beautiful artworks from watercolors, oils, acrylics, and much more. Schwartz plans on attending Cornish College of the Arts in the fall of 2017.
The opening reception of “Places and People” occurred Friday, February 3; Greening, McMurray, Heikkinen, and Mudd attended and spoke to the audience.