Barlow Students Take Home High Honors at MHCC Art Exhibit


Megan Maroon

“The Dawn” an acrylic painting, created by senior Megan Maroon.

Britney Henderson, Staff Writer

Over the course of the past month, Mount Hood Community College hosted their annual MHCC Regional High School Art Exhibit. From April 3rd-28th, the college’s visual art gallery was open to the public and displayed artwork created by numerous local high school students.

Gibson, seasoned Barlow art teacher, submitted 15 student-made creations to the exhibit, all of which displayed great levels of technique and novelty. Of those 15, five Barlow students received awards from the exhibit’s judges for being exceptional in numerous ways.

Senior Savannah Patterson placed first in the Originality category with a piece she calls “Twisted Flesh.” As a fairly experienced artist, Patterson has completed all of the art courses offered here at Barlow, however, her love for art surfaced long before that. She shares, “I have been drawing since I was three. It helps me express my inner self and my emotions to others that I cannot express in words.” In fact Patterson’s inspiration for “Twisted Flesh”, came from a drawing she made about “…the feeling of comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable.” With the proper inspiration, as well as substantial amounts of clay and glaze, Patterson produced the original clay work that won her first place.

Sofia Polyakov also placed first place, but this time in the category of Technical Skill. Her submission, “Ocean Coral” was a cartoon-like marker drawing of the deep sea. Currently enrolled in both Art 1 and Drawing 1, Polyakov has been drawing since a young age. Gibson was overjoyed with Polyakov’s accomplishment, as she was a new student to her this year. “I’m very excited to see where [Sofia] goes in coming years, she has lots of talent,” states Barlow’s resident art teacher. Polyakov recognizes and thanks Gibson for her endless words of encouragement and the great effect they have on her abilities.

Drawing 2 student, Halle Lang, also competed in Technical Skill and placed second. Her piece “Beneath the Veil” honors death in a whimsical, yet dark and gothic way. The contrast of white charcoal on black paper helped Lang achieve the perfect balance of elegance and tragedy. Gibson notes the sophomore’s ability to be “…phenomenally detail oriented,” which is clearly seen within the drawing. This is the young artist’s first award and she exclaims, “I definitely spent a lot of time on structure and accuracy so I appreciated this award greatly.” Finally, she shares her gratitude for Gibson, saying, “She’s such a wonderful art teacher and person. I’m always being pushed to try new things and challenge myself more than I usually would.”

Challenging her artists is a common theme Gibson shares with her students, as Megan Maroon also pushed herself to create something new for the exhibit. As a senior, Maroon has taken most art classes at Barlow, capturing many different pictures through her art. Nevertheless, this time she sought out to create a view from one’s imagination with a painstaking attention to detail, rather than replicating a simple picture. Gibson recognised this extra effort and tells, “…this piece was a challenge to push her and I was amazed to see the growth and detail from where she started.” In the end, this image from her mind transferred onto canvas was titled “The Dawn” and was awarded honorable mention.

Honorable mention was also granted to a display titled “The Beauty” created by senior Olivia Campos. After four years of vigorous art courses, it is Campos’ final year under Gibson’s instruction and she has certainly risen to the occasion. Gibson particularly notes her work ethic and the direct correlation it has on her most recent creations in the classroom. Gibson shares,“[Olivia] works really hard on pieces and it’s been amazing to see the growth over this last year. Just really, really, good pieces this year.”

Gibson closes with a message for all her artists, regardless of their grade or placement in the MHCC Art Exhibit, she states, “It’s been great to see them create amazing things. Wherever their journey takes them, I hope art continues to be something they enjoy!”

Technical skill second place winner Halle Lang and her “Beneath the Veil” charcoal drawing. (Halle Lang)
Barlow Sophomore Sofia Polyakov’s marker drawing, “Ocean Coral”, won her first place in technical skill. (Sofia Plyakov)
Original ceramic piece “Twisted Flesh” created by Savannah Patterson. (Savannah Patterson)