LAKEWOOD RANCH -- A juried collection of more than 60 paintings, photographs and digital artwork from Braden River and Lakewood Ranch high school students is a first for the ComCenter Lakewood Ranch gallery.
Art shows have been a regular feature of the gallery at 9040 Town Center Parkway since its opening in 2004. But the “Young Artists Exhibit,” inspired by the suggestion of a student, is the first all-student show.
“There is some amazing stuff from pencil drawings, digital art, photography and more,” said Vina Fischer, center manager ,who is herself an artist.
Wednesday, Joseph Palotas was judging the show for ArtCenter Manatee.
“It’s better than I expected,” Palotas said of the quality of the work.
He was intrigued by the eye-catching quality of the digital artwork, a “fantastic job with the photography,” and the creativity of the art work in general.
The results of the judging will be announced June 10, during a reception and awards ceremony for the artists. The exhibit will be open to the public, free of charge during normal business hours Monday through Friday in August.
“The art world is very competitive. We love competition,” said Bill Ferrell, art teacher for Braden River.
The emphasis at Braden River is on art as a vocation, including fashion design, graphic design, and illustrations, Ferrell said.
A show at the Young Artists Exhibit gives his students an opportunity to see what students from other schools are doing, he said.
One of his students, sophomore Victoria Morrison, said she has two abstract paintings in the show, one in warm colors and one in cool colors. The one in cool colors has an inscription on back to her mother.
“Everyone here is dedicated to the arts,” Morrison said Wednesday.
Next year, the ComCenter gallery plans to repeat the Young Artists Exhibit and invite all local high schools to participate.
“We decided to take a break from our normal and do something for our students,” Fischer said.
“We are very pleased and honored to have this student work -- it is beautiful,” Fischer said.
For more information about Young Artists Exhibit, call the ComCenter at 782-1200.
James A. Jones Jr., East Manatee editor, can be contacted at 745-7021.