Black Widow spiders cause fear and revulsion in most people. But for Ava Schillberg, they provide creative inspiration.
The Gates Middle School eighth grader used the Black Widow as the center of an art project she submitted to the school’s juried art show.
The art exhibition, which will take place from 4 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday April 29 and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday April 30 at the Scituate Maritime Center, 119 Edward Foster Road, will feature the work of students in art from Grades 6, 7 and 8.
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This will be the ninth year Gates has hosted a student art exhibit.
Ava will display multiple imprints of a Black Widow spider with a heart on her abdomen appearing in front of white lace.
“Part of those pieces that I really love are the legs,” she said. “They were a bit of a pain to create, but in my opinion they are the centerpiece. Because of how naturally sleek Black Widows long, slender legs are, it adds to the overall theme I was going for.
Ava was most inspired by the contrast that can be created between spiders and beauty, she said.
“Spiders, especially black widow spiders, are generally considered to be scary, but adding very delicate and soft features such as lace creates the idea that the spider itself is also delicate. The delicate features and spiders are seen in completely opposite light, which makes them unique and fascinating.
Share their vision
“Having the opportunity to participate in a juried art exhibition allows students to experience the validation of recognition of their works by artists and the public outside of their art room,” said Amanda Glover, visual arts professor at Gates.
The artworks in the exhibition were selected by local professional artists Kieli Storm, Marie Flaherty and Stacey Hendrickson.
“Students are used to their art teachers praising their work and validating their self-expression, but it’s really special when a local artist says, ‘I agree. I think this piece of art is exceptional,” said Eileen Rotty, visual arts teacher.
Sixth grader Alyssa Paine explained how her art class worked on painting pictures based on Georgia O’Keefe’s flower paintings.
“You were supposed to draw a big flower that touched every corner of the paper,” she said. “Most people only focus on things that are young, like people themselves, or plants and animals. No one really pays attention to things when they get old or don’t notice how beautiful they are. I’ve often found it elegant how plants turn brown when they die. How brown blends perfectly with natural color.
The variety of works selected shows that there are many, many ways to excel in art and that no two artists see things the same way, said Danielle Mihaley, a visual arts teacher.
“We celebrate diversity of expression at Gates, and we want the community to celebrate it too.”
For her two-point perspective drawing and box, seventh-grade student Nora Connaughton explained that the main theme was for it to be based on a forest “or around things you might find in a forest, mostly trees. frogs and mushrooms”.
“There were mushrooms on the corners and top of the box, and a small frog sitting on top of the lid, all of which were carved separately and then attached before firing.”
Her other project, the “HOPE” design, which depicts two hands holding a dove, was created with graphite, she said.
“The graphite was blended in to show the shading. The dove in the image is meant to symbolize peace, as doves have been a symbol of hope and peace for a very long time, and with the dove held, it could be a drawing that tries to show that hope and peace are in your hands.”
We live in a society that constantly validates and encourages sports-related achievement and traditional academic achievement, Rotty said.
“This show gives well-deserved recognition to students who excel in the arts.”
The Gates Middle School Juried Art Show will take place from 4-7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 29 and from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday, April 30 at the Scituate Maritime Center, 119 Edward Foster Road.
Follow Ruth Thompson on Twitter @scituateruth