Ninth Congressional District High School Juried Invitational Art Exhibition Impresses


Alex Voight

High School students display their art goods on campus.

Rachel Avcioglu

It’s nearly impossible not to slow down and take in all the beautiful artwork lining the long hallway in the Science Center. Beauty aside, the works are definitely attention-grabbing and unique. When I first passed through the hall, just as the pieces were being put up, I knew immediately that these works belonged to high school students. Perhaps it was the angst seen in the self-portrait of a boy with clenched fists (Alter Ego by Jetuwr Davis) or the innocence of the black-and-white photo of flowers (Pollination by Jashua Massung). Overall, the show was filled with young artists bursting with talent and potential. Here are some favorites:

The Joker by Nick Madden This computer-generated piece simply screams at you from the wall, demanding your attention. It is the cartoon of our favorite Batman villain with the most evil grin on his face. The bright colors and disturbing clarity of the image entice the viewer to stare at this picture for longer than most of the other pieces.

Rascal by Claire Nusbaum I love dogs as much as the next person, but I fell in love with Rascal immediately. From a distance, I could not tell at all that the piece was done with charcoal and not paint. The fur and facial features are minutely detailed — a difficult effect to achieve with blend-prone charcoal. What I also like is the positioning of the piece, which is lower on the wall, making it appear as if the dog is running toward you.

Moon by Jasper Wu A truly inspirational piece, Moon depicts many arms in different shades reaching up toward a moon-like orb. Initially, the hands appear to be reaching for justice and peace. But on a closer look, eerie-looking claws seemed to depict a desperate reach for help. Either way, it is simply a beautiful piece, something I wouldn’t mind hanging up in my own room.

Ninjas on the Rooftop by Megan McVicker Perhaps one of the most playful pieces, this drawing depicts wooden figures jumping from housetop to housetop. I enjoy it because it looks more like a picture than a drawing. The details were immense, and I felt as if I was looking through a window to see ninjas jumping onto my neighbor’s roof.

In the Evening by Katherine Cavanaugh One of my two favorite paintings of the whole collection, this work of oil on canvas depicts two giant hands carving something. The warm colors and an attention to lighting of the hands intoxicate the viewer. Each different curve or wrinkle of these hands is made by a multitude of converging colors reminiscent of a sunset.

Self-Portrait by Anne Carrathers I am generally not one to be impressed by self-portraits — most art classes require them, and artists often overstate their best proportions with fuller lips and thicker eyelashes than usual. Carrathers’ use of acrylic to make the colors very vivid and her placement of details in all the right places set her work apart. Thin black lines border the eyebrows, eyes, nose and lips, while the rest of the picture has no borders at all, making things look out of focus.

The Ninth Congressional District High School Juried Invitational Art Exhibition — or NCDHSJIAE — continues until March 20 and features work from students from a wide variety of schools. It is sponsored by Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo, Firelands Association for the Visual Arts and Oberlin College.