WHAT DO YOU NOTICE first in a human face? Perhaps it’s eyes or a smile, or the lack thereof. Or maybe you see the whole without attention to the details that comprise a face. However you view someone on the exterior, it is the interior which holds the essence of a person.
With that thought, I present selected photos of portraits from the All Area Student Art Show at the Paradise Center for the Arts in Faribault. The second floor exhibit of art from eight schools continues until April 8.
If I could, I would sit down with these young artists and ask: “What do you notice first in a human face? Is the essence of this person in the portrait you created? What process did you use to make this portrait?” I am assuredly an inquisitive writer of many questions. I am a listener, an observer, a gatherer of information. I expect answers to my inquiries would vary.
But one thing is certain. The artists behind the portraits saw a face—whether in a mirror, a photo, his/her imagination, etc. Then their individual perspectives, interpretations, skills factored into creating these portraitures.
If I study each work of art, I see personality traits emerging in the subjects. Reserved. Joyful. Tentative. Compassionate. Inquisitive. Even especially creative. I could be right. Or I could be wrong in my observations. Faces can reveal a lot, but can also hide a lot.
I recognize that for these young artists, such deep thoughts may not have presented themselves. And that’s OK. Perhaps just the challenge of creating a portrait was enough without the added distraction of introspection.
I admire the talent of these student artists ranging from kindergartners to seniors in high school. While I don’t hold any art training, portraits seem particularly difficult to create. They would be for me, unless I captured a portrait with my camera. And even then I don’t claim to be a portrait photographer, except in the journalistic style.
When the youth artists in the Faribault art show look at their work and look in the mirror, I hope they see beautiful, creative faces. I hope they see the talent they hold. I hope they understand that they are unique and valued and supported. I hope, too, that creativity continues to be an important part of their lives, a lens through which they can see the world and then share it with others.
Art matters. And so do each and every one of these developing young artists. They are our future, wherever their talents take them in this world.
FYI: Paradise gallery hours are noon – 5 pm Wednesday – Friday and 10 am – 2 pm Saturday. This exhibit runs until April 8. Photos were taken with permission of the Paradise. Original copyrights to the art are owned by the individual artists.
© Copyright 2023 Audrey Kletscher Helbling
wow! Some of these young artists are really talented! 🙂
I fully agree. These students are so talented.
Yarely’s work has an almost Warhol quality to it. That it’s by a fifth grader is amazing. But then they all are given how they’re just getting started with art.
I see that Warhol quality, too, now that you mention it. And, yes, all of this art is amazing.
these are fascinating and I love that they are such a universal thing to draw, regardless of one’s age. I especially love the one with the crown, so much happiness flowing from this one, drawn by an elementary student.
I saw the same in that kindergartner’s crown portrait. It absolutely exudes joy. Made me smile, broadly.
Another great piece Audrey! Thanks. I’m writing an article as we speak about art and quality of life in rural communities. One of the questions your article brought up is the cultural differences of drawing/painting faces. I had heard that in some traditions, it is frowned upon to create faces? Likewise, as a photographer, I have encountered some cultures that do not want their photograph taken as there is a believe that part of their essence or soul is being taken in doing so. More questions than answers, yet curiosity prevails…
Thank you, John. And thank you for writing that piece on art and quality of life in rural communities. I expect you’ve asked many questions as you have worked on this article. You will have to let me know where I can read it and more about this project. I so appreciate your work in the arts from creating to advocating and informing. And, yes, the question about cultural perspectives on portraits is a good one.
Amazing portraits…by young folk…such talent. Thanks for sharing their work. I, too, wouldn’t know where to begin painting a portrait.
Like you, I’m impressed by the talent of these students showcased in these portraits.
Amazing! I always marvel at the artwork of children —- without that type of artistic ability in myself it amazes me how young artists can create such amazing pieces.
I know. The art they create at such a young age always impresses. This speaks both to the talent and the teachers guiding them.