ALPENA – Art students from Alpena High School have a new exhibit at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery now through Thursday.
“With this exhibit, I wanted every Alpena High School 2D Art student to have the opportunity to exhibit their work,” future AHS junior Cassia Marchinski wrote in her mission statement for the exhibit. “By giving art students the opportunity to display whatever work they choose, students can have the opportunity to show something they are really proud of. It also gives students a chance to be happy and proud of themselves when they might not normally get that chance.”
In a phone interview, Marchinski explained some of the inspiration behind her pieces. She has three in the show, including a watercolor blue bird on a tree branch, a free-form abstract painting and a mixed media piece.
“I’ve been painting all my life,” said the 16-year-old. “But I started really getting interested in it as a hobby and passion probably around eighth grade, during the COVID lockdown.”
Painting is a relaxing way to express yourself, she said.
“I like to paint because I can express my inner emotions,” said Marchinski. “I love making landscapes and capturing the beauty of nature.”
She explained the techniques she used in the pieces included in this exhibition.
“One of them is called a neurodoodle,” she said. “Basically, what we did in art class was we did a random scribble, and then we went through it and lined up all the lines. And then we took watercolors and chose what kind of colors would speak to us and it was an abstract piece.”
She continued, “When we made the doodle, we thought about a problem in our lives that we would like to fix. And then, with the colors, we just kind of expressed how we felt. So I chose some sunset colors because they’re really peaceful to me.”
Another piece she created uses a page from a dictionary as a background, with watercolor and ink drawings.
Her third piece is a watercolor of an indigo climbing a branch, which can be seen in the photo above.
“I just wanted to make it realistic,” she said.
Her art teacher is Cara Proehl at AHS.
The artists of the Thunder Bay Art Gallery are proud of the students for their creative work and are happy to have their artwork displayed in the gallery. They said it helps students build confidence to display their work.
“We love having the children’s work here,” said Kay Kline, one of the artists who has work on display and for sale at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery.
The gallery contains the work of about 25 artists, who work in turn in the gallery.
“Our hope is that they’ll go on to artwork and be artists, and eventually come back here and be one of us,” Kline added.
Gallery hours TBA are 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM Tuesday through Saturday.