‘They do amazing things’

By on January 22, 2023

Cape Hatteras Elementary School third grade artist Willow Skilling, crayon on paper study of a human skeleton. (Photos by Kip Tabb/OBV)
Kitty Hawk Elementary fifth grade artist Caleb Drumheller, dragon’s eye in black and white. (Photos by Kip Tabb/OBV)
Fifth grade Cape Hatteras Elementary School artist Saray Aburto-Valencia aluminum figure and shadow on green paper. (Photos by Kip Tabb/OBV)
8th grade Manteo Middle School artist Chasity Gibb watercolor of Disney figures from the Lion King. (Photos by Kip Tabb/OBV)
8th grade First Flight Middle School artist Riley Szalkiewicz, watercolor study of a plant in a vase. (Photos by Kip Tabb/OBV)
Artist Jasmine Wuilliez, First Flight High School sophomore, butterfly garden flower, photograph. (Photos by Kip Tabb/OBV)
First Flight High School senior Linley Woodard with her 3D ceramic Little Mermaid. Linley’s work was selected as one of the pieces to be displayed at the Dare County Schools offices.
The Dare County Schools art teachers with Pat Eure.
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Dare County Schools Art Show showcases student talent

The Annual Dare County Schools Art Show at Glen Eure’s Ghost Fleet Gallery in Nags Head is one of the truly enjoyable local events of the year. When the doors opened on Saturday, Jan. 21 at 1:00 p.m., cars were parked for 100 yards on each side of the gallery. Inside, there was barely room to move as young artists posed with pictures, sculpture, mixed media and other forms of art for their parents.

Amid the voices, smiles and excitement, it was difficult to tell who took more pride in the artwork—the parents or the artists.

Asked about what the show means to the community, Dare County Schools Superintendent Steve Basnight made sure to compliment the art teachers.

“It’s a tribute to our programs in each of the schools and those teachers as well…They’re providing an island for kids to express themselves and be proud of what they’ve done. It lets you know that you’re doing the right things for the right reasons,” he said.

Inside, Cape Hatteras Elementary School (CHES) third grader Willow Skilling was explaining her crayon on paper study of a human skeleton. It was, she said, an assignment from her teacher. Asked why the skeleton’s hands were in the air, Willow responded: “Because he’s just scary. He’s scaring people.”

Fifth grade CHES artist Saray Aburto-Valencia patiently explained that the shadow behind her aluminum figure on green paper was glued in place.

“We used a flashlight, and we got a shadow and then we traced it and then I had to cut it out and glue it on there,” she said.

Her teacher, Kristina McEwan, standing in the middle of the gallery, took a moment to reflect on how important art is for students.

“I do feel like I’m very lucky to have my job. They do amazing things, and they have a lot of deep thoughts. It’s a safe place for them to make connections. A lot of project-based learning happens in the art room,” she said.

Kitty Hawk Elementary fifth grader Caleb Drumheller is beaming as he stands in front of his dragon’s eye black and white work. Sketched into the eye is a trident. “I like the sea, so I put the trident in there,” he explained. “Our art teacher Miss LaRose, she taught us how to sketch. She gave us the idea.”

Understandably, the art becomes more complex with older students.

Along the wall where much of the middle school art is hung, Manteo Middle Schooler Chasity Gibbs and her family are admiring her watercolor of Disney figures from the Lion King. The piece at first glance seems simple, but working in watercolor, the artist created terrific detail. Art is her favorite subject, Chastity said, adding that it felt good when she learned that her artwork would be at the gallery.

First Flight Middle School eighth grader Riley Szalkiewicz’s watercolor study of a plant in a vase also seems basic at first glance, but the shading and use of color make it stand out. The painting is from her imagination.

“We were supposed to draw plants. I just thought of it,” she said.

A student in Monica Penn’s photography class, First Flight High School sophomore Jasmine Wuilliez, working with Photoshop, turned an overexposed picture into a work of art.

Along the back wall, First Flight High School Senior Lindley Woodard stands next to her ceramic 3D depiction of the Little Mermaid. Her work has been selected as one of the pieces to be displayed at the school district offices.

There is extraordinary detail in what she has created, and this is not the feel-good Disney Little Mermaid.

“I actually chose the [Hans Christian] Andersen version, which is kind of sad,” she said.

Although she enjoys art, Lindley has other plans for her future and those plans may have played a role in the subject she chose.

“I want to continue doing art, but it’s not going to be a profession,” she said. “I’m going to COA for my associates [degree] in science and after that, to a four-year university to study marine biology.”
For gallery owner Pat Eure who began hosting the event 35 years ago with her late husband Glenn, the show is a reminder to her of how important art is in our lives.

“Seeing all these young artists and the enthusiasm about the work they have created is a moving experience that just makes you feel good,” she said.




See what people are saying:

  • Glenn

    That’s awesome! Congratulations to all! Keep up the great work!

    Monday, Jan 23 @ 5:20 am
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