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In stairwells, between classroom doors, and on library shelves, student-produced art is everywhere.
It’s all part of the school’s annual art exhibition, a fixture at the school for the past two decades.
“It’s a big thing,” acknowledges veteran art teacher Holly Bertrand.
Bertrand, who teaches a half-dozen different art classes ranging from painting to printmaking, said more than 100 students have work displayed in this year’s show.
Bertrand said she saves students’ artwork throughout the school year and then it all gets included in the show.
Putting the paintings, drawings, sculptures and other pieces of art in place for presentation takes about a month, according to Bertrand.
The show formally opens with a reception, which this year was held April 5. Bertrand said attendance averages in the hundreds, and the school’s chorus and jazz band provide music for the event.
“People are very supportive of the arts, which is nice,” she said.
The artwork then remains in place for a few weeks, allowing community members to see what students have produced.
Bertrand said she sometimes gives students a theme, but allows them freedom within that theme to reflect their individuality.
One theme this year was Jamie Wyeth’s 2007 series of paintings, “The Seven Deadly Sins.” In those paintings, Wyeth used seagulls to depict pride, envy, anger, greed, sloth, gluttony and lust.
An article on the Farnsworth Art Museum’s website said Wyeth described gulls as “nasty birds, filled with their own jealousies and rivalries,” in explaining why he chose to use them to depict the terrible transgressions.
Bucksport students used Wyeth’s work as a theme but put their own twist on it.
Take the sin of pride, for example. In Wyeth’s painting, a rather haughty but otherwise natural-looking gull struts through a crowd of other birds, stepping on one of them, while carrying a whole lobster in his beak.
BHS student Megan Smith took a different tack. In her acrylic painting, a bird that might be described as a feathered fashionista perches atop a rock, chest puffed out and feathers preened to perfection. A masquerade-style mask covers the gull’s face, and a viewer half expects to see a gaggle of camera-toting cormorants surround what is clearly an A-list bird.
Moving beyond the gulls, many of which appear in the school’s main lobby, a visitor will find additional creative artwork.
On the stairway to the second floor, Bertrand pointed out a series of coffee-toned paintings of Native Americans. She explained students painted the pieces using instant coffee and water.
In the library, dogs and Statue of Liberty inspired masks made from a plaster product called Pariscraft line the shelves, while laminated stained glass style creations (tissue paper taking the place of glass) fill windows. Colorful mosaics made of tiny, cut-up magazine pieces cover posts, depicting all sorts of animals from panda bears to seals.