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Exploring their Creativity

art show opening reception

Aliza Horowitz sees art where others see trash.

“My friends make fun of me,” the 18-year-old said. “I’ll see something on the side of the road and make them stop the car.”

Hubcaps. Parts of a traffic light. A broken guitar. A piece of a ceiling fan.

To Horowitz, these are the building blocks of art.

Her approach paid off. The senior at the Visual Art Center at Albert Einstein High School took top honors in January at the annual Johns Hopkins University art show for her piece titled Magnified.

Horowitz developed an interest in art years ago, when her grandmother took her to art museums in Chicago. She’d sit at museums with a sketch book, drawing the sculptures in front of her. Then she developed an interest in found art – creating pieces from objects that generally aren’t considered artistic. Now she likes to merge sculpture with a 2-D approach.

For Magnified, she scoured her house for objects. She used buttons, goggles, coins, a shampoo bottle, a plastic bowl, tiles, a key, a spoon with a mini-Liberty Bell on top, a robot she made from a film canister and a peacock she made from a twisted spoon.

“It’s getting rid of junk!” said Horowitz, who is considering studying visual arts as a minor in college.

The theme for the art show this year was Explore. The show is now in its 11th year. Students from 15 Montgomery County public high schools participated this year and now have their art works on exhibit at the Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus. Plaza Artist Materials donated the canvases. (see photo gallery)

Of the 208 works submitted, jurors selected 47 to be showcased. Six students won prizes.

An opening reception for the exhibit was held on campus in January. Parents, students and community residents gathered to view the art and hear the winners announced. The exhibit will be on display through March 17 in the lobby of the campus’s 9605 Building. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

The exhibit is one of JHU’s programs designed to get children excited about STEAM education. The A in STEAM is for “art,” an important component of a well-rounded student’s education. (STEAM is an acronym for Science-Technology-Engineering- Art-Mathematics.)

The show was curated by local artist Sherill Anne Gross. She judged the works along with local artist Lori Anne Boocks and Bryan Hill, a patron of the arts. Here are comments from Boocks and Hill about the winning pieces:

  • 1st Place: Magnified by Aliza Horowitz of Einstein Visual Art Centermagnified.jpg
    Boocks: The first place winner combined masterful painting technique with a sensitivity to materials and construction. This piece pulls the viewer in again and again, and it shows talent well above the high school level.
    Hill: At first glance the painting is incredibly creative and imaginative.  Once I took a closer look and noticed the artist’s use of mixed media, I was blown away.  The addition of the bowl, bottle, goggles, buttons, etc. brilliantly added depth and movement.  From every angle in the room, the painting seemed to follow.
  • 2nd Place: The Attic by Elena Asofsky of Quince Orchard High School
    Boocks: The second place winner's attention to detail was astonishing. Composition, brushwork, and color choices were incredibly polished and show professional-level work.
    Hill: The artist’s attention to detail created a world of imagination that fully encompassed the theme. The realism of the young man entering the surreal attic transformed me in to the space.

  • 3rd Place: Voyager Spacecraft by Josephine Prickett of Spingbrook High SchoolVoyager Spacecraft.jpg
    Boocks: Composition and paint handling set the third place work apart. Even though just a medium-sized canvas, it offers rich, quiet areas of deep space for the viewer. The subject matter is deceivingly simple, but the execution very complex and compelling.
    Hill: The detail of the satellite to the depth of stars and gas clouds creates a space that we’ve only seen through the lens of the Hubble Telescope.

    Honorable MentionsExplore.jpg

    Explore by Colleen Reich of Sherwood High School
    Boocks: With bold color and composition, this piece demands that you look, then keeps your attention with rich detail.
    Hill: The artist was able to transform the parameters and restrictions of the canvas to create a movement through dimensions.  From the hands, to the eye, to the flowers and vines, the artist displayed extraordinary detail.
    Greek-American Exploring My Heritage.jpg
    Greek-American: Exploring My Heritage by Elizabeth Sporgitas of Northwood High School
    Boocks: This honorable mention piece captivates the viewer with the subject's bold stare and mature use of color and paint.
    Hill: The artist demonstrates incredible technique. The young lady in the foreground is remarkably realistic.

    Riding the Wild by Ujana Zajmi of Quince Orchard High School Riding the Wild.jpg
    Boocks: Viewers are taken on a delightful journey by this honorable mention piece. The texture and forms gracefully pull together movement, snow, and wonder.
    Hill: The artist created a beautiful, realistic piece that seems so soft that you actually want to touch the reindeer.  The artist truly captured a moment in time as the girl on the reindeer passes by.

CATEGORY: The Arts, K-12 Outreach