Student talent takes the spotlight

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Budding artists in Black Diamond’s junior and senior high school are getting the experience of a lifetime as they showcase their talent for all to see over the next few weeks.

Oilfields High School art students are displaying acrylic paintings on canvas in the Sheep River Library art gallery until mid-February. More than a dozen paintings are currently on display and several more will be added by Jan. 20, said art teacher Pam Pracic.

“I think people will be surprised at the uniqueness and creativity, as well as the talent we have here,” said Pracic. “Every opportunity I can get to show the kind of talent we have here I definitely want to jump on that.”

Library staff invited the students to exhibit their work in the Turner Valley gallery, said Pracic.

“Often their artwork is only displayed in the school,” she said. “I really wanted to showcase their work to the community and show off to kids in the feeder schools the kind of work being produced at Oilfields and how much talent we have here. We have really unique artists and I wanted an opportunity for the community and future students to see what kind of artwork they can look forward to.”

Pracic said people will see there is a variety of work, such as replications of famous artists like Ted Harrison and Dr. Seuss, where students put their imaginations to work creating their own styles.

Putting their art on public display is an invaluable experience for students, said Pracic.

“There is more accountability and pride that goes into their work knowing it’s not just their peers but it’s people who are every age level taking a look at it,” she said. “It’s a chance for them to build their brand and get their name out there. If they want to pursue it, it’s a good chance for them to get recognized.”

Grade 12 student Ashley Davis, who was accepted into the University of Lethbridge’s art and marketing program, said she is ecstatic to have the opportunity.

“It’s really cool because I really like looking at other people’s art and I think it’s cool that my art is going to be out there for others to see,” she said. “It’s so cool to see what other people have created.”

Davis painted a galaxy with a dark background and planets done in bright pinks, blues and yellows for the exhibit.

“I just really like looking at the stars,” she said. “There is so much out there that we haven’t discovered yet and just space itself is so beautiful.”

Davis said she loves expressing herself through art and is proud of the work she did for this exhibition.

“Looking at it I’m like, wow, I can’t believe I did this,” she said. “It’s so amazing what everyone can make with their hands.”

Grade 9 student Tamara Cloete painted Marvel superhero Falcon for her art project themed Faceless Superheroes for the exhibition.

“The Falcon has always been one of my favourites,” she said. “He’s not quite popular but he’s still a sidekick of Captain America.”

Showing her work to more than her peers and teachers is exciting for Cloete.

“I would really love future opportunities like that just to feel that my art is good enough to be shown to others and not just kept in the closet for just me to see,” she said. “I love sharing my work.”

Cloete said it’s also intimidating having people critique her work.

With a love for art, Cloete strives to take her skills beyond secondary school.

“I would love to go to an art school or become a graphic designer,” she said. “Art is definitely a big part of my future and I enjoy it so I would love to keep going with it.”

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