Students' Showcase

More than 150 artworks by sixth- through 12th-graders in Cambria County schools are on display in “Greater Johnstown Young Artists Exhibit” in Goldhaber-Fend Fine Arts Center gallery at Community Arts Center of Cambria County. The exhibit can be viewed during gallery hours through May 24.

If the work on display in an area exhibition is any indication, the future looks promising for budding artists.

The “Greater Johnstown Young Artists Exhibit” will be on display through May 24 in the Goldhaber-Fend Fine Arts Center gallery at Community Arts Center of Cambria County, 1217 Menoher Blvd., Westmont.

The annual exhibition, sponsored by the arts center and Allied Artists of Johnstown, features a variety of works from sixth- through 12th-graders in Cambria County schools.

‘Outstanding work’

Lida Hood, exhibit committee member, said it’s always a delight to see what the students have worked on for this show.

“The quality of work that comes from them is outstanding,” she said.

“My job of hanging it all is a bit challenging because there are approximately 194 pieces that are entered, but it all comes together in the end. It’s a show you won’t want to miss.”

Participating schools are Divine Mercy Catholic Academy, Bishop McCort, Greater Johnstown, Central Cambria, Richland, Ferndale Area, Westmont Hilltop, Bishop Carroll, Forest Hills, Portage Area and Northern Cambria.

Art teachers at the participating schools selected the student works to be entered into the exhibit.

“This show is so important because it shows what the teachers are teaching these kids and it’s showcasing the abilities they have and what they can produce,” Hood said.

Variety of mediums

Mediums include paintings, drawings, photography, sculpture, ceramics, mixed media, scratch art, 3D and glass.

“It’s a wide variety. You name it and we have it here,” Hood said.

Marianne Krizner, a member of the Allied Artists of Johns-town, served as the juror.

She said the results are amazing and impressive.

“It is encouraging to see such a wide variety of works, and it is evident that the students participating in this show have been given the opportunity to experiment with many different forms of media,” Krizner said.

She added that the teachers need kudos as well.

“Every day their passion and expertise get poured into the kids and it shows in each piece,” Krizner said.

Artworks were judged in three divisions – sixth through eighth grades, ninth and 10th grades and 11th and 12th grades.

Winners received achievement and merit awards, plus ribbons and a cash prize.

“The students are so excited to see their work on display in a gallery setting,” Hood said.

“For a lot of them, it’s the first time they’re having their work on display. They are all together in one grouping and it’s a big deal for them.”

An opening reception was held May 8 when winners were announced.

Innovative culture

Angela R. Godin, executive director of the arts center, said the exhibition is one of the highlights at the center.

“Knowing that we are inspiring and showcasing the future of the artistic community by fostering educational programming for youth makes me so proud of the organization that I work for,” she said.

“The excitement of youth to be courageous with their approach to art is what creates innovative culture in our world.”

She said the varied show is a testament to the curriculum in area schools and teachers who are working to broaden the aspects of art.

“Instead of it just being paintings or two-dimensional items, they really are trying to stretch their students at a young age,” Godin said.

She said students are thrilled when they see their pieces in the gallery.

“It’s really special because they’ve worked hard to make it,” Godin said.

“We want them to feel that they are important and that the time they spent to create that piece was valued.”

Recognizing talent

For those who see the show, the hope is that they’ll recognize the young talent that’s in the area.

“A lot of times, people will find a couple of pieces that they really gravitate toward and then they realize it was an eighth-grader or a 10th-grader,” Godin said.

“People then want to know more because of it being such a broad spectrum of talent and mediums, so it makes it a really interesting show and probably one of our favorites every year.”

Achievement awards for juniors and seniors were presented to Jordan Grant, Richland; Sydney Huston, Westmont Hilltop; Beth Gribschaw, Richland; Dashaya Chatman, Greater Johnstown; Cassidy Weir, Westmont Hilltop; and Nate Hams, Forest Hills.

Freshmen and sophomore achievement award honorees were Olivia Grant, Westmont Hilltop; Cassidy Carthew, Greater Johnstown; Hope Frank, Central Cambria; Annah Lovette, Bishop McCort; Samantha Heilman, Forest Hills; and Camryn Lorence, Richland.

Achievement awards for sixth- through eighth-graders went to Kyra Bobolsky, Portage; Hunter McMullen, Central Cambria; Matthew Rickley, Forest Hills; Abby Sheredy, Central Cambria; Taylor Bango, Westmont Hilltop; and Ashley Gregorchik, Divine Mercy. 

Merit awards for juniors and seniors were presented to Nina Lu, Bishop McCort; Abbie Wachs, Richland; and Angelina Pribozie, Westmont Hilltop.

Freshmen and sophomore merit awards were handed out to Riley Baumgartel, Central Cambria; Haley Myers, Forest Hills; and Brooke Garmon, Richland.

Merit awards for sixth- through eighth-graders went to Camden Kriak, Divine Mercy; Emily Vandenbergh, Central Cambria; and Julia Kane, Westmont Hilltop.

Morgan Davis, of Ferndale Area, received the Community Arts Center Volunteer Award.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.

For more information, call 814-255-6515 or www.caccc.org.

Kelly Urban is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. She can be reached at (814) 532-5073. Follow her on Twitter @KellyUrban25.