The Vine Wine Bar and Art Gallery recently opened its doors and walls to 22 art students from Camdenton High School. In honor of Youth Art Month, the students came together to produce the first ever Camdenton High exhibition outside of a public forum. The show was completely self contained and student created according to high school art teacher, Michelle Livek.
"The students took over all facets from writing of the biographies, to collecting the information to create the name tags. They designed the show and where things should go. They worked as a team and collaborated," Livek said. "The work coming out of these particular artists is so extraordinary and I think they craved a place to hang it. Hanging it in school hallways is wonderful, but hanging it in a gallery space brings a whole new validity to being an artist."
On March 10, the artists invited the community to stop by The Vine and peruse the gallery.
"I hope they are seeing students acting as artists, but also not just concentrating on the technique but the concept behind it. I see my students maturing to a point where they have a good grasp on the technique as an artist, so once they know the language, then they really start to express and they emerge and are able to communicate through their works something that is difficult to articulate," Livek said. "Also, I am watching them interact with the people here at the gallery while they are looking at their work, I hear them actually articulating their intent which is a wonderful thing and an unexpected joy."
One artist and volunteer found the whole process of watching the students create the art very interesting.
"Seeing these kids take their own path and their own take on things is very interesting. They are all using the same tools, but you can really see they are learning because they take their own experiences and combine them with the tools from the classroom. They are making really amazing works of art and I think that is apparent here today," Emelie Rodriguez said. "If I was an outsider looking in, I would not have guessed that there are sophomores, juniors and some freshmen putting out these pieces. It's really exciting to know that the arts are making a really big appearance around the lake."
The opportunity to have work featured in a professional gallery is one that these students do not take lightly.
"It is such an honor. I am so excited to have just graduated from high school at semester and have my work in a professional gallery. That's huge. A lot of people do not get that until their senior year in college, even then they get to pick a piece to put in the gallery," said recent graduate Kasey Schaumburg.
Page 2 of 2 - Since March is Youth Art Month and is celebrated nationally, Camdenton art educators contacted the city of Camdenton and asked Mayor North to proclaim March Youth Art Month in the city.
For these Camdenton students, art holds a special place in each of their hearts.
"Art is really personal to every person, but to me it is a way to vocalize without using words. It's a nice way to interact with your fellow humans," Rodriguez said.
Senior Caleb Blansett added, "Art to me is a process of growth and a process of charting that growth both within myself as expressed by the visual artwork that I produce and by the audience by how they react to the pieces."
Teens are often seen in a negative light, Livek hopes that situations like the art show will show them in a more positive light.
"They are brilliant and this gives them a chance to show the world that high schoolers are fragile humans with a lot to offer. Its a way to dispel some assumptions people make about adolescents," Livek said of her students.
The public can still view the students' works of art. The show will be up for a month. The Vine is located at 1375 Route KK in Osage Beach.