Students encouraged by art contest

Brushes gently glide across the white canvas, leaving soft, smooth color in its wake. Hard graphite scratches into paper, marking it with the artist’s own personal thoughts, feelings and emotions. With virtually unlimited options when it comes to art, these examples only barely scratch the surface of what art is truly about.

On Feb. 25 a small group of AP art students visited Oklahoma City University’s campus to view the art gallery. The room was filled with the artwork of high school students across the state who entered in the Young Talent contest, including three students from Duncan.

“I was very proud of my students who were featured in the show,” art instructor Melissa Mayo said.

Mayo went on to say that she would have been happy if some the senior portfolios recognized in the show as well. Out of all portfolios — or cluster of works by the same artist — entered, only the top 10 picked by judges were featured in the gallery. No portfolios submitted from Mayo’s students were featured; however, three of her students who entered general works were put in the gallery, including AP art student, Ryan Neal.

“I had a sense of accomplishment, because only so many pieces were accepted,” junior Neal said.

Other students from Duncan who were featured were junior Will Browning, and senior JeMario McCoy, who now resides in Lawton, Okla.

“There were some pieces I was surprised got in,” Browning said. “It looked like they were trying to pick a little bit of everything.”

For this particular contest, the judges picked the best artworks that represented their specific schools best to be put in the show. This ensures that the gallery won’t have too many pieces from one school and hardly any from another.

Despite the great accomplishments already made by the art students, each of them recognizes that there is always room for improvement. Neal says that he would like to improve on everything he can.

“This is what I want to do for the rest of my life,” he said.

Browning and Neal both plan on majoring in art while in college and look forward to progressing their hobby into a career while continuously improving their talents.

“I want to improve on my coloring skills and painting faces,” Browning said. “I want to be well-rounded.”

To many of the students at the high school, art is more than just a hobby. Some plan to make it into a way of life in the near future, and others plan to make it into a career. These students continuously to make art a part of their lives.