High school seniors Tara McTighe and Grace Bush agree that seeing their art up in a gallery is going to be an exciting moment.
Both are AP art students in Skyline High School’s VPA Academy. Along with four other student artists, they are helping to design and execute their own gallery installation at the Firehouse Art Center as part of their capstone project.
“I’ve only ever had my art in my hallway,” Bush said. “I’m excited to see what people who don’t walk by it every day will think.”
The exhibit opens March 11 in the south gallery at the Firehouse Art Center with work by McTighe and Bush along with seniors Aidan Burke, Mariana Gutierrez, Kinsey Kaczmarek and Kennedy Stough.
Students are in charge of curating the viewer’s experience through arrangement and labeling, as well as framing and pricing their work. The works in this show reflect the personal explorations of each student and have been created as part of their individual pursuit of art.
McTighe does 3D art, using a variety of media to create sculptures that come out of the wall including some pretty big pieces.
“I’m really excited,” she said of the exhibit. “This will be my first big sort of professional thing.”
McTighe said she hopes to pursue art after graduation by studying business, so that she could maybe one day operate her own gallery.
Her work for the exhibit focuses on the theme of grief, her favorite piece being a ceramic mask with a sunrise over the face that looks like it’s sitting in clouds.
“It represents a new beginning after death,” she said.
Bush’s artwork is in the 2D realm. Her pieces for the gallery are portraits of her friends interpreted as the major arcana tarot cards.
Bush said seeing her work in a gallery will be a new experience, but one she hopes will help her learn more about displaying art professionally. She plans to pursue film after graduation, but wants to keep doing art as a hobby.
She said she is most proud of a recent painting, a friend interpreted as the tarot’s lovers card.
“You can see just how much I’ve improved and I think the colors are really nice,” she said. “I’ve been told it has really good harmony. I’m still not 100% sure what that means, but I think it’s a compliment.”
The opening reception for the capstone project will be 6-9 p.m. March 11 with the work on display through April 3.