Norwalk art students put many hours into creations

Cary Ashby • Mar 20, 2018 at 2:00 PM

Kindergartners though high-school seniors have poured countless hours into their artwork.

And if you go to the 17th annual A Celebration of the Arts gala Saturday, you’ll see their creations on display in the art gallery of the Ernsthausen Performing Arts Center. Starting at 6:30 p.m., visitors can enjoy appetizers and desserts while they admire the Best in Class art exhibit.

There also will be a string quartet accompaniment by orchestra students and drama students will perform highlights from the 2017 musical “Peter Pan.” The Speakeasy Jazz Cats will perform a concert at 8 p.m.

It took Norwalk High School junior Madison Duncan five class periods to finish her fabric project, which features water, clouds and the sun. She said it was during the fourth class that it locked in, once the details started to make her artwork alive.

“I thought the textures would be cool together,” added the daughter of Brett and Nicole. “It wasn’t what I was expecting, but I like it.”

Senior Madison Hainline will have two projects on display during Saturday’s gala — a necklace and decor pillow.

“We had to do a jewelry piece, but we had to alter it in some way,” she said.

Her necklace has five copper pieces, which are blue, green and purple. Hainline gave them a glass-like texture through a process known as enameling.

“You sprinkle it on the piece,” said the daughter of Mike and Angela.

Afterward, the NHS senior put each one in the kiln for two minutes at 1,400 degrees.

“It took about 10 class periods,” she said.

Hainline’s pillow features two hands making a heart shape.

“We had to focus on a figure or body part and (it) had to be sewn,” she said.

Luckily, she had experience sewing from another class, so she estimated her comfort level was an eight — or very high — on a 10-point scale.

The outside edge of the pillow has a tie-dye effect, created by Hainline painting it with watercolor for the blue, purple, yellow and pink. The back is a bright purple.

“It’s a purple fade,” Hainline said. “It took like a month to do — inside of class and out.”

Senior Danny Ashakih also will have two projects on display, a digital self-portrait and a mermaid she created using colored pencils.

For her self-portrait, she used Photoshop to layer a photograph and mimicked watercolor prints or brush strokes.

Ashakih used more than 10 colors for her mermaid, which is based on her favorite underwater creature, a cuttlefish. She said the fish produces flashes with colored rings as it hypnotizes its prey.

“It took me three months because I did it over the summer,” said the daughter of Dan and Tina. “This was a summer project, a like a start to (doing) independent art. I could choose any project in any medium as long as Mrs. (Tracy) VanBuskirk approved.”

Through the annual gala, the board of trustees for the Norwalk City Schools endowment fund has awarded a total of 360 student scholarships (more than $499,000) to NHS graduating seniors and a total of 29 district faculty grants (more than $30,000) since the fund’s inception in 2000.

Tickets for the gala are $30 or $60 and student tickets are $15. To purchase them, call Mollie Wetherill at 419-660-6511.

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