Featherstone features talented students
The month of March will see a lot of activity at Featherstone Center for the Arts. For the third year in a row, Featherstone is hosting shows featuring work by Martha's Vineyard Regional High School student artists.
On Saturday, a show of paintings and drawings by high school senior Lauren Petkus opens and runs through March 12. From March 14 to 19, digital photographs by senior Ray Ewing will be displayed, followed by Featherstone's "Painting & Pottery III" show that features the work of the art students of teachers Janice Frame and Scott Campbell.
Photos by M.C. Wallo
Ms. Frame, who selected Ms. Petkus for the show, says, "I pick kids that are pure artists - not just doing it for fun. This is their passion. This is how they speak to the world."
Realist painter Lauren Petkus has been winning accolades for some time, according to Ms. Frame. "Everyone watches and learns from her," she says. "The kids are just stunned by her talent."
Ms. Petkus's Vineyard landscapes capture the beauty of Martha's Vineyard in mood and detail. Ms. Frame says, "Lauren is quiet and deliberate. Everything is strategically, meticulously planned out. You watch the development as she works. I'm just fascinated by that."
Photographer Ray Ewing exhibited his work at Featherstone during the Center for Creative Expression's yearly shows, and he also exhibited pieces included in last year's Family Planning Art Show. However, the upcoming exhibit of his work will be his first solo show. Mr. Ewing has been a student of both the high school photography teacher Chris Baer and his wife, Janice Baer, who runs the Center for Creative Expression.
Says Mr. Baer of his student, "He's always had a poetic vision. He's always been a little cerebral in his work. He really thinks about what he's shooting."
Ms. Petkus and Mr. Ewing have both been taking classes and participating in Featherstone's free afternoon programs for teens. "It's almost like some of these kids have grown up at Featherstone," says Francine Kelly, director of Featherstone.
Ms. Kelly explains that students not only exhibit their art, they also work in the gallery and arrange the opening receptions.
Ms. Petkus works in different media and styles. She says, "A lot of the pictures that I'm showing I based on black and white photos, and added color." Her goal was to maintain the mood of the photos, while adding another dimension with color.
Ms. Petkus created a unique palette to produce the different effects in each of her works. A seascape called "Calm Day" is a harmony of soft hues with a pleasing contrast between the blue-green sea and the distinct patterns and earth colors of the hills beyond.