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Local students showcase works of art

WORTHINGTON -- A barn scene painted without a brush. A plaster mask that represents a character named "Lulu." A collage that relates feelings about Jesus dying on the cross. A whimsical portrait of a young boy.

Those are just a few of the diverse works that will be featured in a exhibit opening Friday evening at the Nobles County Art Center, 407 12th St. The exhibit showcases artwork by area high school students, including the aforementioned pieces created by seniors at Worthington High School.

Senior Derek Ahlberg plans to exhibit a pencil drawing that re-creates a photo from National Geographic as well as an acrylic painting recalling a camping experience.

"Every fall, I go on a camping trip with some friends up to the Redwood Falls area," he explained. "We always go biking, and there's this big hill we call 'Killer Hill' ... and when you get to the top of it, this is what you see."

But Ahlberg's medium of choice is photography -- he has been accepted to study that art form at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He has entered a favorite photo in a student exhibit at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D., which also opens Friday.

Laura Wolter was also chosen to exhibit at both shows. For the Worthington exhibit, she has selected two drawings and a painting -- all three portraits.

"That's what I like to do. I like to draw people," said Wolter, who will attend Minnesota State University, Mankato, and may pursue a career as an art teacher.

The barn scene was painted by Amanda Elsing for a painting class at WHS. The assignment was to experiment with different methods of painting, so Elsing utilized cardboard triangles to apply the paint to paper.

"It's actually a picture of my yard," said Elsing, who is contemplating a career in graphic design. "I want to frame it and give it to my parents for Christmas."

It wasn't part of any specific class assignment, but Clay Reimer has chosen to exhibit a framed linoleum print, created from two separate blocks, that depicts a runner and the words "Run for your life."

"It has two meanings," Reimer explained. "You can run to be healthy or you can run away from something."

"Lulu" comes from the imagination of senior Gabe Sanchez. As one of the students in a crafts class, he created a plaster mask from his own face, then turned it into an Oriental-looking woman utilizing paint, yarn and other accessories.

"This is a character I made up, one of my favorites," Sanchez explained. "I do a lot of pieces around her -- paintings, drawings."

Jenny Buysman is the artist behind two mixed media collages that will hang in the art center. One, titled "Party" reflects her interest in music. The other, called "Purify" is even more personal, focusing on her faith.

"I'm a Christian, and I wanted to display my feelings toward Jesus dying on the cross," she said about the piece that has drops of red and white wax cascading across the surface. "The red wax represents sin and Jesus' blood. The white represents purification, being freed from that sin."

The exhibit, which continues through March 24, will open with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday in the art center gallery. The students will reflect further on their works during interviews at 6 p.m. Vocal music entertainment will be provided by high school students under the direction of Kathy Briggs.

Beth Rickers

Beth Rickers is the veteran in the newspaper staff with 25 years as the Daily Globe's Features Editor. Interests include cooking, traveling and beer tasting and making with her home-brewing husband, Bryan. She writes an Area Voices blog called Lagniappe, which is a Creole term that means "a little something extra." It can be found at  

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