Mitchell High School 2020 Exhibition
An exhibition of works by Mitchell High School Students during the 2019-2020 school year
This marks the third year Toe River Arts has sponsored the Mitchell High School art students with an exhibition in the upstairs Owen gallery in Spruce Pine. This has always been an opportunity to showcase the young talent and hard work of our young people. At this point it is needless to say that things are anything but normal. That being said, normal is not what we should be aiming for, and that is evident as young people are leading the way in so many needed changes in this moment in history. A few of these pieces reflect on students’ experience navigating the post-COVID-19 world.
Our show this year will only be virtual. Our exhibition plans were interrupted, and the students will not be able to have one-on-one conversations with the guests that usually attend this show during the opening of the Toe River Arts Spring Studio Tour Exhibition. The feedback in the past has been critical for their understanding of what their art can communicate. For this reason, I ask that you view the work with thought and intention to help these students internalize that their voices are important and respected. If you have comments for these students, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will forward them your thoughts and your support. As always, thank you for the way you support our youth in this community.
Ceramic & Mixed Media
For my fear doll, I didn’t know what to do in the beginning. Once I started the doll I began thinking about what I was afraid of and I am afraid that one day the sun will come out but it won’t be shining. Then the moon would have to light the earth but not as bright as the sun would be. I’m also afraid of being alone in a place that I’ve never been before where I don’t have any family or friends to call if something bad happens. Also I’ve never seen the beach or an ocean, I’m afraid of drowning or something grabbing me and no one is around to help me get back to the surface. One of the scarier fears is leaving my family and friends to go to college either at a college near Charlotte or in West Virginia at a college near my Aunt’s house.
Ceramic, wood, mixed media
8″ x 8″
I wanted the face to be almost split to where it showed the outside to the inside of how I feel. The inside is how I would want to express myself but don’t on the outside. The sunset background is representing my anger from going from calm to getting extremely mad at others but I never really yell or express how I am feeling. The mouth is what I would be doing if only I would do it on the outside. The speaker is how I drown out everyone around me, by listening to music. The sunflowers are one of my favorite flowers, so I wanted to add them to the inside of how I feel at peace or I am just very calm and mellow.
Embroidery & Indigo Dye
Ceramic & Mixed Media
When looking at a picture of yourself, do you only see your outer appearance or your actual self? I made this seem as if the viewer were looking at a picture day image of me, only this is what I see. This is the version of me that isn’t seen on the exterior but is only hiding beneath. This is to show that you can make your inner experience known. The dreams that are housed where your brain lies, the parts of you that are starting to fade off, the innocence that will forever be there no matter how much it gets tainted, or even the beauty that everyone soul has.
Oil on Canvas
Wood & Mixed Media
Cotton, Wool, Indigo, Rust
Kirsten van Brederode
Mixed Media Box
For my Joseph Cornell box I decided to display images of travel throughout my box. At the beginning I didn’t really know where my box was going. I found many little things I liked and thought I might want to put things in my box. In the bottom part of my box I have small paintings of different places on the earth. Over those photos I have a transparent photo of the Roman Colosseum. I chose to do this because I have always wanted to visit Rome. In the top part of my box I have a vintage looking photo of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I put this in my box because I also really want to travel to Italy. Next to the image of the Leaning Tower of Pisa I have vintage buttons. I added these because it made the whole box look more aesthetically vintage. My moving object was little wooden blocks with letters printed on them. The letters have no significance. In the end I found out my box is about traveling because one day I want to travel the world.
Kirsten van Brederode
Ceramic Mixed Media
For my fear doll I decided to make my doll more literal. I made it easy to see what I am afraid of. I am really afraid of weird things that most people don’t fear strongly. One of my top fears is elevators. I am not really afraid of the actual elevator, I am more afraid of being stuck in an elevator. To show this fear in my doll I made the body an elevator. Inside the elevator are three beads that can move up and down. These beads are supposed to represent the elevator going up and down. My second fear is sharp objects. To display this fear I made one of the doll’s arms a cactus. On the cactus are sharp pieces of metal. My third and final fear on the doll is a finger. I am scared of people cracking their fingers because I think they are going to break. The finger is also pressing the button on the elevator.
Copper & Glass
Ceramic Salt Shakers & Base
“Broken Connections “
Life Casts, Felted Wool & Mixed Media
4′ x 6′
I started the idea for this piece before COVID-19 put us in lockdown. We had to find new ways to connect in a world where it was dangerous to have physical human contact with others without the risk of being exposed.
I wanted to portray how we are still divided in a world that has so much access to connect from across the world. Even so, it seems as if everyone has either picked a side or has had theirs chosen by simple things that are unchangeable. There is always a tension causing these paths to each other to be broken and therefore a lack of understanding of our peers around us. This work represents the lack of community in a world with the access to resources to connect. We have ways to organize and connect but we still continue on the toxic path of division.
Cold Connect Jewelry, Brass, Copper & Kodak Film Negatives
Ceramic, Life Cast Plaster & Wire
This piece is based on the idea of having to ally yourself with self. I wanted to show the face as distorted, confused and the hands pulling the string and skin away. This is all to show the thought of self dissatisfaction, but also in a way reaching back with the crossed eyes. The whole piece is a bit gloomy pulling back and forth. the difficulty of self acceptance versus the want for changing yourself to the ideas proposed by society and your mind that is sculpted by society.
Repurposed book, mixed media, found objects, fishing line, wood, brass tubing, and transparency.
When I thought about the collection idea, my mind immediately brought me to a collection of baby to young adult photos of a boy which I found in an old book that was donated to my previous school’s library. I wanted a way for the viewer to see the photos as a collection in their mysterious found place. Tying the idea of the strings connecting the pages and photos while also representing the path and progression of the life of this person pictured.
By pulling the strings beginning from the bottom string and progressing up the pages will turn revealing the photos.
When the strings have all been pulled to a close the book can be turned over repeated by the next person.
Ceramic, Acrylic & Wood
Nickle, Brass & Copper
Acrylic on Panel
“Joseph Cornell Box”
14” X18” open
With my Joseph Cornell inspired box, I really wanted to give a feeling of an exhibit in a museum, while also retaining an encyclopedia or textbook vibe. I started by disassembling a mechanical saber tooth tiger toy into its parts and then proceeded to drill holes into the plastic to make a space to attach stilts like you might see a dinosaur fossil held up in an exhibit. Afterward, I developed a cam system to work with the stilts that attached to the head and tail to make it interactive. Once I had finished composing the cam system box and tiger display, I found a box that was shaped in a book and found pages about saber tooth tigers on the internet to post in the box. I finished off by gluing in the cam box to the book and by adding in other elements like lights for finishing touches.
Ceramic & Mixed Media Mask
Ceramic & Mixed Media
Copper, Brass & Nickle
Acrylic on Panel
4′ x 4′