Thursday, June 17, 2021

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High school artists show off their talents

Barbara Donnelly talks with Colusa High School senior artist Rodrigo Rodriguez Lopez at the Colusa County Arts Council gallery exhibit in Colusa on Thursday.

The Colusa County Arts Council hosted high school senior art students on Thursday.

About a dozen talented seniors displayed their artwork in all mediums.

Paintings of food monsters, beautiful ethnic faces, parched deserts, and brilliant island sunsets graced the walls of the Arts Council Gallery on Market Street for an evening showing that was well attended by the community.

“We’re pleased to be able to display the wonderful work of the Colusa High School students this year,” said Sharon Reische, executive director.

The annual student art exhibit is intended to be a countywide exhibit, but only Colusa High School has participated, Reische said. In previous years, the Arts Council hosted shows exclusively for art or photography. This year was a mixture of both.

Colusa Art teacher Jean Summerville said the 11 students in her studio art class are fourth year art students.

“Their final for their second semester in their fourth year is to have a show at the Arts Council Gallery,” she said.

Students first had five pieces due in the first semester in which they had to write an artist statement and price their work, which is a warm-up for the annual show.

In the second semester, students are required to have four pieces of art for the actual exhibit.

Students submitted a wide variety of work, including acrylic on canvas and charcoal and ink drawings, all of which was priced to sell.

Liam Kiever’s “Representation 2020” was inspired by American artists Kehinde Wiley and Chuck Close, who motivated Keiver to paint something he had never attempted before.

The exquisite acrylic painting is of an individual against a dark background, and painted on six separate canvases with a border of mulit-colored roses.

“I had never painted or drawn individuals and I wanted to create a piece that would push me outside my comfort zone,” Kiever said.

Rodrigo Rodriguez Lopez said his four pieces, including an acrylic of a shadowy figure on a mountain top, were based on the idea of finding motivation within oneself.

“My senior year has been unique, and in the beginning of the school year, I struggled to find motivation to see out my senior year on a strong note,” Lopez said. “My mentality has definitely changed since then, and I wanted my art pieces to represent motivation to keep striving for better, because I know I have struggled and I may not have been the only one following the COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions. Motivation allows us to be the best version of ourselves and we should all have a purpose to be better than we were yesterday to see the greatness in ourselves.”

Lopez said he plans to attend college next to study biology.

Many of the students whose work was on display attended Thursday’s art show, which is one of several events the Art Council has hosted this year. The show also included a performance by a flute quartet.

The Arts Council also has a number of events planned including “Fair in the Square” from 10 AM to 4 PM on June 12, which will feature arts, crafts, and other still exhibits on display at homes and businesses in “The Square,” which has been designated as 2nd to 9th Street, from Fremont to Market Street, in Colusa.

For those that live outside the square, their work will be displayed at AB Davison/Will S. Green Park.

“If you have something that you had planned to put in the Fair this year, countywide, and can’t, please bring it and we will display it,” Reische said. “If you live in the square and plan to display it, let us know and we will put it on the map.”

A street dance on Fifth Street in front of the gallery will be held later the same evening.

The Colusa County Arts Council also plans a mixer in a local sunflower field in July in which people can paint and take photographs. 

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