Young Island artists at Seattle Art Museum

By Mary L. Grady

Having art exhibited at a major art museum in a metropolitan area is something that most individuals wait a lifetime or even more to achieve. But Mercer Island Advanced Placement art students are having their art exhibited at the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) over the next couple of weeks.

The work of the 20 juniors and seniors in the class, called AP 2-D (for ``two-dimensional'') design art is being displayed in the lobby of the art museum, where it can be viewed by museum-goers on their way to the exhibits, or those who come in off the street. A ticket is not required.

``It is really exciting to have our work there,'' said senior artist Chelsea Spiro. ``And that people will actually see our work.''

It is all because of the efforts of their teacher, Rose Gifford. She called the museum last fall to ask about exhibiting students' work at the museum. They said they did occasionally but only if it the exhibit was in conjunction with or complemented another planned exhibit.

When Gifford asked what was planned and found out it concerned photography, she knew it would work.

She wrote a proposal to the museum describing the themes and work of the students and it was presented to the board of directors for approval. The AP class utilized a variety of techniques for their work, including black and white prints, color and digital prints, darkroom techniques, software, paints and color. The subjects range from portraits to the abstract.

The exhibit is an array of 88 pieces of photographs and photo montages with mixed media placed on seven panels. It is divided into the categories similar to the themes illustrated by the Chinese works: ``Identity,'' ``Introspection of the figure,'' ``Community,'' ``Exploring Commonality'' and ``Flashback.''

A couple who are art buyers, saw the work on the first day and recommended Gifford contact a local gallery for a show there.

The artwork will be on display through March 7.

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