By Patrick Winderl/Havre Daily Newsemail@example.com
Four aspiring young artists were given the chance to showcase their work Tuesday night during an art show at Havre High School.
More than 20 pieces from each of the students were displayed during the event, which continued through this afternoon. The show is a decade-long tradition for advanced placement art students, said Stacey Freier, an art teacher at Havre High.
Advanced placement art is a class available only to high school seniors, and students must have successfully completed three prerequisite art courses to be eligible for the class.
"They've had to prove they are serious art students," Freier said. "The thing about AP is that it's not so much about development. It's about their own style," she said.
This year's AP art class included four students: Jennifer Flesche, Zach Crossley, Corey Stremcha, and Nikki Dibblee. They spent Tuesday afternoon attaching their artwork to display boards in preparation for the art show, which coincided with the year-end concert of the Havre High School Band.
While setting up, the four students said they were looking forward to sharing their art during the show.
"Art is how I see the world," Flesche said, while draping scarves ver the display boards to use as a backdrop for her artwork. Most of the pieces she displayed were two-dimensional, such as paintings and pencil drawings, but Flesche also chose to showcase several 3-dimensional pieces, including a wire sculpture of a Pegasus.
Many of her paintings were done with pastels, which she chose as her area of concentration for her senior year.
"I do body work, animals, surrealism, realism, imitationalism, anime. Right now I like body work," Flesche said. "The human body kind of fascinates me right now, and that shows in my art. I kind of go with what I'm fascinated with."
For fellow AP student Corey Stremcha, music provides much of his artistic inspiration, especially rock icon Ozzy Osbourne. Stremcha, who said he does not plan to pursue art for a career, said he paints just for fun and occasionally enjoys the shock value of his artwork.
Among the paintings Stremcha displayed was one of a clown-like figure that appears to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound and - Freier's favorite - an intricately detailed watercolor of a tall, scarecrow-like figure walking amid a dark backdrop.
"I paint whatever is going to make people think," he said.
A pamphlet accompanying his artwork also offered a little insight to Stremcha's passion for art.
"Art to me is a way that I can lay everything that I have in my head about myself or about something else on the table. It helps me say what I want to say without actually saying it," he wrote.
Stremcha said he chose watercolors as his area of concentration because he didn't know what else to pick.
"It was about midterms first quarter and I had no idea what I was going to do," he said.
Dibblee also chose watercolors as her area of concentration, and said many of her paintings reflect people in her life or places she has visited. In her pamphlet, Dibblee said that she believes art is a form of speech.
"It is an expression of yourself. Art is an interpretation of what the mind sees or thinks. Without art, life would be very dull. There would be nothing to look at," she wrote.
Dibblee said she plans to use her art skills to pursue a career in graphic design, though the future Montana State University-Billings student acknowledged that her plans change frequently.
Crossley's area of concentration for AP art was acrylic paint. Many of his works include large portraits of friends of family, for which he uses several hues of a single color painted over a pencil sketch.
"The hardest thing is trying to get them to look accurate," he said.
In his pamphlet, Crossley said he has trouble defining art.
"To me, art is beauty," he wrote. "And that's about as far as my definition goes. I think it's ironic how I can't even define something that means so much to me."
Although their high school careers are nearing an end, the four students in this year's advanced placement class said their pursuit of art is not.
"I'll always have art in my life," Flesche said. "It's a huge escape for me. Some people read books, some people watch movies, some people sit around and do nothing. I have art."
Freier lauded her four AP students for their accomplishments and talent.
"They're really fabulous kids. They're just outstanding." she said.