Art at Altitude draws NMSHS talent

savannah ames artBarbara Lawlor, Nederland.  After a semester of art classes, a plethora of artwork from Nederland Middle Senior High School demonstrates the degree of talent among the Panther student body.

On Friday, Dec. 11, art teacher Theresa Bagby, hosted a reception for the artists who have submitted their work which was on display in the NMSHS library meeting room. The students had a chance to talk about their work and to sell it to the patrons who attended the reception.

Often, it was the proud parents who purchased the paintings or photographs of their children.

At the end of the night, awards were given out, chosen by those who attended the reception. When the judges looked over the votes, there was no question who had won the People’s Choice Award: Savannah Ames won first place in photography, in a triptych painting and in an oil painting, making her a cinch for the overall prize.

Savannah was surprised and elated. She loves art but doesn’t think of herself as artist, even though she has been at it for a long time.

When the Nederland senior was 12 years old she decided she wanted to draw a picture of her mother. Local acclaimed artist Marie Channer suggested that Savannah do a painting and offered to help. Savannah drew a free hand picture from her imagination.

“I thought it was great then, and I look at now and realize I would have used different colors. Marie helped me a lot with blending and where to set a horizon line, which brushes to use for which technique. It was all just for fun.”

Savannah painted often and rapidly for awhile and then took a break for about three years, saying she was not patient enough, that if something wasn’t perfect she would become discouraged, she didn’t like fixing mistakes.

And then the desire to create crept back in. She saw a photograph of a shoreline and wanted to paint it and came up with a dramatic rendering of clouds, water and shoreline with tall grasses breaking the horizontal lines.

Savannah says she seen many scenes or objects in an artistic light and she is forever photographing what she sees with her iPhone. Two years ago, in Mexico, she and her family were eating at a taco place, and she became aware of the white pepper filled with seeds, the pat smeared with hot sauce and limes.

This year she had to take an art class to graduate and signed up for the Foundations of Art, which delves into drawing, painting and pottery. It was a class designed to teach the elements and principles of art.

As she worked on The Shore, she added more color to what was in the photograph and left out distracting details on the shore. It took three and a half hours and then she was done with it. She knew it was finished.

Her Triptych came from an assignment to use a silhouette within a silhouette. She used acrylic paint to portray random images in each of the work and then used varied shading on the framing. “This one was really hard to do,” says Savannah.

Her photograph happened on the top of Independence Pass in September. She was visit a ghost town when she say a cabin that was leaning in two different directions and she shot through a door looking at the window on the opposite wall. She had to walk around the cabin and take a lot of pictures from each side before she got what she wanted.

Art is fun for Savannah but she is not going to study it in college, she intends to be a speech pathologist. She loves working with children and especially if she can help them.

All of Savannah’s pieces are now on display at the New Moon along with the other first through third place winners as well as the honorable mentions.

Sophia Lindenberger’s Colors of Life is a contemplative portrait of young woman in sepia tones against a brilliant orange background. The pose is elegant and the mood poignant.

Love in the Rain, also on display, is an extraordinary work of a surreal tale of sunshine lurking in the pastel pink and purple clouds while blue raindrops fall steadily on a silhouetted couple kissing under an umbrella. It is a piece of work that involved much work on the delightful detail that are illuminated in the slight brushstrokes of color that make up the whole design.

New Moon employees say they love having the student’s artwork on the walls where they receive a lot of attention and compliments.

Not only does the art brighten the walls of the business,  it also spreads the word that NMSHS is supporting the artistic talent of its students.

Barbara Lawlor

Barbara is a reporter for The Mountain-Ear.