A giant panda, a ceramic cat with a face of flowers and detailed self-portraits were a few of the unique creations found at the annual Senior Art Show May 10 at Oxford High.
Twenty OHS seniors and one junior featured a collection of artwork they had created throughout their high school careers. Each student used a different theme and different mediums in their display, but they each seemed to share a love of art.
Serafina Tenaglia, a senior at OHS, centered her art around a multicultural theme. Tenaglia, who plans to study anthropology in college, said she loves to learn about other cultures.
Her work included a freehanded mandala, a spiritualistic symbol in Indian cultures; a painting of a Chinese dragon tying itself into a loop; a Japanese sumi-e brush painting of a fox; a painted landscape depicting the Northern Lights; a painting of Oya, an African goddess of storms and wind; and a large paper-mache taco to represent Mexico.
Tenaglia said while she enjoys art, it was not her main focus in school.
“I’ve always been really interested in art. Even in elementary school, my teacher loved my art and thought I would go really far with it,” she said. “But growing up, I always kind of valued my intelligence more. I always wanted to get these academic classes down … Science and history are things that I really love.”
Tenaglia added that her latest art class at OHS had reawakened her interest in art.
“I guess I had forgotten how much I really loved it,” she said. “I think I want to go to school for it, but not directly. I want to be an anthropology major, which is the study of other cultures, but I think I want to minor in art.”
OHS senior Margaret Skylis used music as the inspiration behind her display.
While playing the clarinet, she stood beside her brightly-colored, nature-inspired paintings. Much of her work was exhibited on music stands rather than easels. Sheets of music served as the canvas for many of her paintings.
“I have such a love of music. I used music as kind of a general theme, along with color,” Skylis said. “A lot of my pieces tie in and then, I’m also playing my clarinet, so it all kind of blends together.”
Skylis said her style of art had undergone a dramatic change throughout her lifetime.
“I started out drawing anime and so a lot of the characters were kind of based on a lot of Japanese characters, so they weren’t my own,” she said. “But eventually, as I started to do more and more, I became progressively more realistic.”
Jacob Lewinski, a senior, displayed painted re-creations of various national parks from around the world around a tent to represent his theme of “Nature & Backpacking.”
Lewinski said the primary focus of his art since seventh grade had been perspective drawing, but he had wanted to try something new during his senior year.
“I decided to try painting,” he said. “I gave it a try and I ended up really loving it.”
Art teacher Rebecca Ziemianski was pleased with the show.
“This is our 13th annual event. Even being number 13, it’s actually been our best and the luckiest of every one of them so far,” she said. “They get better every year. These guys just seem to have a natural talent and a natural love for it.”