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Students to showcase artwork in statewide exhibition

Eight Norman High School students will have their art displayed at Oklahoma City University during the month of November as part of the Oklahoma High School Art Competition. The competition, hosted annually by OCU School of Visual Arts, will feature the 2D works of students grades 9-12 across the state.

While art teachers chose what to submit, it was the OCU art department faculty who ultimately chose the pieces to be admitted into the exhibition, as well as the winners. Winners will be announced at the reception and top entries will be awarded scholarship funds of $3,000.

Norman High School art teacher Tracy Gibson said she put out a call to her students for entries and entered 22 pieces in the competition. Nine of those pieces were selected.

“I am so proud,” she said. “For my first year here, I’ve been thoroughly impressed with the skill level and talent. It’s not due to me in any way; it’s all them and their natural ability to create eye-catching, beautiful works of art.”

Senior Haley Bell, who had two of her pieces submitted, said her goal was to try and use new mediums in her work. Her pieces “Keep a Look Out for the Red Moon” and “Blue” are digital paintings created with digital media and printmaking techniques as well as drawing.

Sophomore Santana Jimenez whose piece “Just A Little Bit of You” features pencil realism, says she hopes to one day master hyper-realism.

“Art for me is quite a bit of a struggle because I’m very hard on myself on what I want to be able to present to people because I want them to like my art,” she said.

“Sometimes it’s frustrating because whenever I see my art, I know what I went through to make it and it usually takes me a really long time to get it exactly how I want and also try to make it look like something… like a face; there’s lots of details in a face and that’s kind of hard to do.”

Senior Levy Buss said her inspiration came from a project last year when a teacher told her about an app called “Prisma” which applies filters to photography. In addition, Buss added mark-making with an ink pen. She said her favorite part about art is the ability to express her personality.

“I like how you can express yourself through art and how you can make it your own,” she said. “It can just be anything you want it to be.”

Gibson added the exhibition is a chance for people outside of the local community to view her students’ work.

“Teachers and students from all over the state are going to come and view the gallery,” she said. “I think that’s so important and this group deserves their work to be seen.”

The opening reception will be held Sunday, Nov. 5, from 2 p.m to 5 p.m. at the Nona Jean Hulsey Gallery, Norick Art Center at 1601 NW 26th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73013. Artwork will remain on display until Nov. 19. Gallery visiting hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.